I work fulltime, and yet I get to pick my kids up from school at least two days a week.
I work most of my week in the buzz of our Grey St office and the balance of it in the silence of home. My home days change according to what’s happening at work (client meetings) or with my family (school sports days).
This isn’t everyone’s idea of a dream scenario, but it works for me, our office, and my family. I work hard to make sure I’m exceeding all expectations at work because I’m grateful for this flexibility. It means my children have two afternoons a week when they’re not in childcare, which – given my husband and I both work fulltime – is a measure of balance we never anticipated we’d be lucky enough to find.
But we are not alone – such arrangements are actually becoming much more commonplace. In recruitment, we are seeing a seismic shift in the way people are viewing the “normal” working week. Candidates are craving flexibility and employers are noting that it can create a healthy culture, which in turn can help attract – and keep – excellent people.
Increasingly, work can be done from anywhere as long as you have a phone and a laptop. We have moved away from the days when employees needed to be seen working in order for people to believe they actually were working. Today, workplaces tend to operate on trust, and people we talk to love it.
We’re finding, flexible work arrangements are one area where employers can give their job offer some x-factor. Often, Tauranga companies cannot offer big-city salaries, but candidates may overlook that if they can work hours which enable them to drop their kids to school every day, or work from home to keep an elderly relative company one day a week, or push a full week’s work in to four days so they can have a regular 3-day weekend.
Flexibility also enters the conversation when employers are looking at filling fulltime roles. There are many phenomenal candidates in Tauranga, who have moved or returned here from overseas with world-class experience. Some of them have been so successful they don’t actually need to work – but they’d like to share their skills if the conditions were right. If you could be flexible in your expectations of what a working week looks like, you could employ someone truly exceptional for 25 hours a week. Wouldn’t they be better for your profitability than someone ordinary working 40 hours a week?
When a company has a policy of offering flexibility, they can end up with an entire staff of specialists, each working fewer hours and devoted just to the tasks at which they excel. This can be much more effective than hiring one staff member who covers a range of tasks – and is exceptional at none of them. At Ryan and Alexander, we each work to our strengths and expertise, doing hours that suit our families and workload, and the result is a high-functioning team working hard for clients all days – and nights – of the week.
If you’re failing to attract candidates, you’re losing good people pretty quickly, or you’re wanting your workforce to be more engaged, more loyal and more committed – give flexible hours a go. It won’t work for everyone or every role, but it can make a world of difference to your employees, and your bottom line.