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Its Monday morning again all too soon. Can we start having three day weekends? Perhaps the idea isn’t as farfetched as you might think but is it taking flexible working too far?
Flexible working is on the rise. As technology advances and remote working becomes increasingly possible, workers are demanding more flexibility from their employers. In fact, as many as 78% of workers would happily trade a pay rise for greater flexibility – including working from home – citing this as a key ingredient in job satisfaction.
That’s not to say their wish was granted, as the same survey suggests that only 25% of employees have ever had the green light to work from home.
With demand for flexibility on the rise, it seems only a matter of time before the UK’s working culture shifts in favour of the workforce. But just what is flexible working – and what exactly does “flexible” really mean?
Head south approximately 3,600 miles, and flexibility means much more than the odd day at home in your pyjamas. In the West African nation of the Gambia, flexible working has taken on a whole new meaning. The President has shortened the working week, reducing it to four days and making Friday part of the weekend. It means that Gambian public sector workers still have a 40-hour week, but they now clock in from 8am to 6pm Monday to Thursday.
To many employees and office workers in the UK, making Friday the new Saturday is the best idea since sliced bread. But is it practical? According to a BBC Report, it works in the Netherlands – where one in three workers squeeze their normal hours into a four-day week. And of course shift working is widely adopted across numerous industries worldwide.
The four-day policy is in use by different businesses, albeit fairly sporadically. One SEO company in the US state of Indianapolis operates a four-day week to let employees “recharge” on a Friday.
“We call them research days,” said their manager Steven Shattuck. “They give people a chance to stay up on things, maybe do some independent research or spend time with their families. On Monday mornings people aren’t so groggy – they hit the ground running.”
As a result, Steven says the team is more motivated and their time in the office is more productive. It’s also a key factor in staff retention.
However for many businesses, the five-day week is still the norm – and certain moulds are very hard to break. Clients may feel reluctant to work with businesses that operate a four-day week as it forces their workers to do the same, and conduct all correspondence between Monday to Thursday. Sometimes when deadlines are tight, this can be an unwelcome restriction. What happens if an urgent issue crops up on a Friday?
Other drawbacks include the nature of work. According to the CBI, 53% of firms said their operating hours or the nature of their work – such as retail outlets, call centres or customer support – was a limiting factor in offering flexible working. But the CBI agrees that flexibility is the future – citing the need for “an individual approach” to find a best-fit arrangement for all concerned.
Published: 17th November 2020
Please help make a difference to a homeless person this Christmas.
Published: 22nd October 2020
The Wildlife Trust’s Big Wild Walk event is taking place between 26th October and 1st November. Here’s how you can get involved.
Love this place
We rent an office here and it’s just such a lovely place to drive into everyday
Still love to walk around. I used to live in the big house at the top of the drive, it was Oak House then and I nursed at Ransom Hospital , Byron Ward which was on the left side of Ransom Hall car park. Oak House used to be Sisters accommodation. I think the main chef lived upstairs when I lived there and just me downstairs mostly. I loved it but had to keep my kitchen door closed because of the squirrels. Loved looking down the drive out of my bedroom and lounge windows, beautiful in Autumn and when it snowed, I worked at Ransom Hospital until it closed in 1987. Wonder why Oak House was later named Ash House? Lovely dining at Forever Green in the grounds whilst I reminisce.
Absolutely spot on as regards setting up a virtual office. Really friendly and helpful reception staff, with onsite meeting rooms available if needed. Very pleased.
Great place for taking pets a walk, lovely cafe with meeting rooms.
A great place
Brilliant place, they have all sorts of businesses there. A cafe, hypnotherapy, hypnopuncture as well many others. Worth a drive up just to see what's there. Furthermore, it's in lovely surroundings.
Just go there and walk for miles! Beautiful views from strawberry hill too.
Great place,hidden away
Set in beautiful woodland.. a very relaxing place to work.
Very tranquil here, feel at real ease could get lost in my own thoughts
Lots of meeting rooms. Follow signes not sat nav to find entrence as its moved. Plenty of parking.
Nice business offices and restaurant
Love it. Great setting, and reasonable rents.