Leading charity Working Families has warned employers that a lack of flexibility could be holding them back, harming productivity levels and leading to lost skills and a shrinking talent pool.
In its Families and Work Group manifesto for 2015, the charity has set out policy proposals for politicians to ensure employment benefits both employees and employers.
Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive Officer at Working Families says: “For far too long and for far too many families, work isn’t working,” said Working Families. Time-poor, cash-poor – often both – many feel they aren’t doing justice to either home or work life. Something has to change.”
The charity is encouraging ministers to establish a right to a period of a leave to enable employees to fulfil family responsibilities, in particular short-term life crises such as family illness or childcare.
It proposes that the public sector adopts a ‘flexible by default’ approach to job design; and business leaders should be recruited as flexible working champions.
The charity acknowledges that progress has been made in terms of flexible working, but says too many wrongly believe that senior roles and flexible working are incompatible whilst family-friendly methods such as reduced hours are heavily gendered.
To gain the real benefits of flexible working employers need to consider how accompanying their working patterns with time and attendance software can enhance their management capability.
The latest time and attendance systems enable managers to schedule staff time more accurately according to business demands and synchronises time and attendance, activity tracking, and authorised absences so managers can gain a true overview of business performance and focus on business outputs rather than hours worked.
Employees can gain access to their own personal record from any web-enabled device from which they can check their working hours, make holiday requests for approval and monitor flexitime balances.
Introducing flexible working patterns enables them to acheive a better work-life fit, resulting in enhanced productivity and staff morale which brings business benefits too.
Time and attendance technology can play a central role in managing flexible working patterns and provide businesses with the confidence to accept individual requests and introduce new working patterns according to a person’s individual needs.