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Companies ‘can use flexible working to keep staff happy’

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Companies are constantly looking for ways to keep their staff motivated and happy.

If employees are content in their role, then they are more likely to be productive, while firms will also find it easier to retain the best talent. Because of this, organisations are looking to flexible working practices to help keep hold of their best employees.

Research by Hays has found that 64 per cent of employers think the measure helps to boost staff engagement and motivation, while 23 per cent admitted it makes it easier to convince people to stay at a company.

In terms of what type of flexible working was offered, 66 per cent of firms opted for flexitime, 54 per cent offered reduced hours and working from home was put forward by 50 per cent.

Pam Lindsay-Dunn, regional managing director at Hays, said: “There has been a clear shift in employer attitudes to flexible working over the last few years and they are now actively using this as a tool to motivate and engage their workforce in the absence of pay increases.

“Clear guidelines are needed to ensure that [a] change in working patterns works for both parties. Employees must follow the same rules as those working in an office, including treating company information as confidential and keeping equipment and data safe.”

She added organisations should also bear in mind the fact that not everyone will function well working alone, which is why policies should be drawn up when it comes to mobile working.

The biggest gripes that homeworkers have is that they miss the daily contact with colleagues and a loss of visibility in the office. This means companies should go out of their way to make sure they encourage inclusivity, regardless of where a worker may be based.

Savings made from having a number of mobile workers could then be funnelled into other avenues, such as improving the environmental-friendliness of the office.