Flexible Working for a Good Work-Life Balance.
It is now recognised that flexibility plays an essential role in modern working life. Since June 30th 2014 changes in the law have given workers the statuary right to ‘request flexible working’ arrangements and one hopes this is the first step towards there being an onus on employers to make a reasonable case for flexible working not being an option.
Employers rely on flexible working to support the changing demands of employee roles and working hours, in an increasingly global working landscape. Employees need flexibility as a means of pursuing a fulfilling and rewarding career, whilst being able to focus on other life choices, which include family commitments, time with friends, leisure and sports activities, as well as political and community involvement.
Flexible working offers a win, win solution for many personal, social and environmental problems, for employers and employees.
Traditionally, flexible working has been seen as something offered to women coming into the market place and needing to juggle childcare and work. In 2014 it is the accepted norm that men and women alike, will have family commitments and demanding careers to balance. Flexible working is being demanded by both sexes and it is recognised as beneficial in gaining a healthy work-life balance.
If you spend much of your working day in an office, in front of a computer screen or on the telephone; then you could consider working from home for part of your week. Secure, remote access and cloud technology have opened up the door for many employees to spend part of their working week not enduring a long, unnecessary commute which eats into their energy levels, enthusiasm and time. Employers can benefit hugely from a workforce which is motivated, energised and appreciative of the chance to work flexibly. The environmental benefits should also be taken into account, as less people make unnecessary journeys to and from work.
Flexible working is one way to move towards a healthier work-life balance. Working Families National Work Life Week, Monday 22nd to Friday 26th September, could be your chance to taste the benefits of spending less time at the office. Go Home On Time Day is on Wednesday 24th; why not give it a try?
Law is readily acknowledged as being one of the most stressful professions. Perhaps it is time for law firms to move out of the dark ages and accept that there is potential for flexible working to be offered to their employees. For some this would not be practical or desirable but there are many legal professionals who could benefit from an initiative on the part of law firms to go beyond what is legally available to employees.