With half of the UK workforce working from home since March and largely proving that they can do so effectively, it is expected that when lockdown restrictions are fully lifted that requests for permanent flexible working will increase by 44% (1).
Throughout lockdown, workers have set up “office” at home and have continued their working day as they normally would, just from a different location.
After an initial adjustment period, working from home has provided many people with a whole host of benefits. For many, it’s a slower and more relaxing start to the day that has been a most welcome change as they avoid the stresses of the morning rush. And thanks to that slower start, and in some cases a quieter working environment, productivity levels during working hours are arguably higher than normal. Additionally, there has been the opportunity for more quality time spent with families, and greater flexibility for taking exercise, which helps with both physical and mental health. Due to these and other benefits, and having some proof that working from home is achievable, it is expected that as and when life begins to return to normal, employers will inevitably see a massive increase in Flexible Working Requests and current thinking is a whopping 70% of an organisation’s workforce will have a flexible working agreement put in place when all restrictions are finally lifted.
Is your HR system prepared to help you?
Having an effective and comprehensive HR management system and one with case management capability in place will help to make this process more manageable for everyone. Ideally, employees should be able to log in to the system as a self-service user and submit their flexible working requests online and managers alerted when a team member has made any requests and be able to confidently follow the process through. This type of HRIS capability saves valuable time being spent by employees, managers and HR (whether internal or external) trying to do this offline or by sending e-mails that could potentially get lost or deleted. Companies have obligations to ensure that the legal requirements, as made clear by ACAS guidelines, are adhered to and that each case is managed, in both a consistent and compliant way. All communications, case notes, decisions and correspondence should automatically be stored in the system, be easily accessible and fully auditable and can be reported upon.
Youmanage has the most effective and user-friendly flexible working request functionality as described above already included as part of our Core HR module. If you would like to see a full overview of this far-reaching, comprehensive module the datasheet is available to download. Get in touch with us today to find out more or try out our functionality free of charge by claiming your 30-day trial.
If you have any questions about the Youmanage Flexible Working Requests case management functionality, please contact our Support team who will be happy to help.
The source of the statistical information in this article is from Direct Line Group and their article named ‘13 Million Brits To Request Permanent Flexible Working Once Lockdown Is Lifted’.
(1) Research conducted by Opinium among a nationally representative sample of 2,002 UK adults between 9th to 14th April 2020
(2) Research conducted by Pure Profile among 100 HR Directors in the UK