Why the new way of working has serious flex appeal.
Flexible working is at the heart of what we do here at ibLE – both in what we do for others and how we work ourselves. In fact, flexible working is the reason behind why we started ibLE in the first place – allowing people to make the most of their time by getting an extra pair of hands on-board, even for a quick 5 minute task (yep really, our VAs can be booked in as little as 5 minute slots).
The thing is, flexible working isn’t wishful thinking for the future, it’s very much here already. A recent YouGov study even found that the traditional 9-5 is now only the norm for a minority workers with just 6% of people in the UK working to those hours without any form of flexibility. There have been so many benefits linked to flexible working that the UK government even launched a flexible working task force and put laws in place to make it easier for people to get into this new way of working.
Legally, anyone who has worked for a company in the UK for 26 weeks and beyond has the right to work flexibly – either home-working, part-time, flexitime and even job sharing. One request can be made a year and a decision must be made within 3 months. There has to be a “sound business reason” for a company to reject the proposal (eg: it would bring extra costs onto the business) but if there’s nothing to report, you’re good to get your flex on.
On top of new legislation in the workplace, flexible-working-freelancers and influencers now make up for 15% of the working population and that’s set to keep rising. So, with so many of these numbers going up, what the flex makes flexible working so great? Here are just some of the benefits of sashaying away from the 9-5.
It boosts productivity
Sometimes you have an off day – it happens – but with flexible working, you can work around it, instead of trying to focus on the unfocusable. An article in the Financial Times reported that 89% British workers believe that flexible working would boost their productivity and 81% of remote workers said remote working would encourage them to increase their productivity levels – those are some pretty high numbers. But even without the studies, flexible working allows you to work to your limits, your strengths and when you feel the most productive – that counts for you too, night owls.
It helps you to prioritise sleep
If you’ve ever woken up, startled by the sound of the alarm after getting only a few hours sleep, followed by a sprint for the tube – you know how tiring the rest of the day can be *wipes sweat from face*. Sleep is so, so important for our health, avoiding burnout and yes, it even benefits our work too: According to The National Sleep Foundation, a good sleep pattern results in quicker decision making, better concentration and higher levels of productivity. It also allows us to tap into our natural Circadian Rhythms which boost our brains to peak-mental-clarity in the 2.5-4hr window after we’ve woken up.
It allows you to work from anywhere
That’s right, you could be answering emails on a balcony in Barcelona, or writing proposals on your sofa with a sharing bag of Malteasers all to yourself, without having to spend every commute shuffling between questionable smells and serial manspreaders. Flexible working has opened up a whole world of possibilities (quite literally) and now, work and travel can co-exist quite happily, with the right things in place, of course. Bringing things closer to home, flexible working also helps millions of parents to spend valuable time with their families and gives new mums the opportunity to get back to their careers, without having to spend thousands on childcare, or becoming a full-time parent because childcare is simply that expensive. Flexible working can massively even the playing field and fly the flag for equality.
It puts you in control
Those who know flexible working will know all about self-discipline (and how it can sometimes be a struggle when you’re in full control of your time). However, there’s nothing better than taking the wheel on when you work and what you do. It might take a little while to kick in, but trust us, flexible working makes you incredibly productive. You start to become naturally obsessed with efficiencies, automation and new ways that you can get the very most from your day.
It helps to achieve work-life balance
Ahh work-life balance – it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, because it’s different for every person. Want to attend your daughter’s football game? Sure! Would love to catch up with your friend who lives abroad but is in your city for one afternoon only? Go for it! No matter what your definition of life is – whether it’s friends, family, working out – flexible working allows you to make time for it. Work doesn’t have to be the 9-5, it can be whatever time you like, as long as what needs to be done, gets done.
It was back in the throws of the industrial revolution that the 8 hour work day was created and sure, it has served us well for the last 200-or-so years. However, we’re in a new age and there’s more opportunity than ever with technology, artificial intelligence, automation and virtual assistants to make life more flexible.
Click here to book a virtual assistant for a more flex-ibLE life.