Working flexibly in HR – find out how Nicky Brimmer is leading the way with Joined Up People…

Can flexible working make things easier for your business this Christmas?

For many businesses, Christmas is a quiet period. With lots of staff taking time off, those left find it’s a good time to catch up on admin, get to the bottom of their to-do list and make preparations for the new year.

However, even if the festive season gives you a chance to ease off, there are still things to get done. Sales might slow, but they probably won’t stop altogether. In most companies, the phones keep ringing.

Dealing with Christmas disruptions

Indeed, your business may find that although things are quieter, having a number of staff on leave means remaining employees have to work as hard as ever.

Throw in the usual Christmas disruptions – like parents with children at home and monstrous traffic jams – and suddenly you could be asking your team to juggle their workload with other priorities. That’s tricky, even for the most dedicated people. And that’s before you think about the effect severe weather – like last year’s heavy snow – could have on people’s ability to get into work.


Go flexible this Christmas

Christmas can be an excellent time to introduce flexible working. It’s about making work less about where and when you do it, and more about the results you achieve. In short: work stops being a place you go to and instead becomes a thing you do.

Allowing staff to work flexibly (from home, or other locations like a relative’s house), at times that suit them helps them to balance their obligations while still getting work done.

And while people may appreciate not having to battle sales shoppers to get into the office, flexible working isn’t just about showing goodwill towards your employees. It can actually help them be more productive.

Take the annual Christmas travel rush. Last year, Christmas getaway traffic peaked on 23 December. This year, why not help your staff stagger journeys around the busiest time by letting them leave work sooner, then work flexibly once they’ve got where they need to be? If they spend less time in the car, they’ll be less stressed and more likely to do a good job for your business.

A happier, healthier workforce can translate into a more successful business. Our own research found that companies could pay a price for not embracing flexible working.

During the festive period it’s important people are able to relax and enjoy spending time with friends and family. If they don’t have to fret over getting into the office for bang on 9am the next day or worry about what they’re going to do with the kids while they’re at work, it’s that much easier to relax into Christmas.

If you trust your staff to act responsibly, and you’d like to help them stay productive while successfully navigating their Christmas commitments, flexible working can bring impressive benefits to them and to your business.

Learn more about O2 tools to make flexible working easier >>

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