Here at Brand Ambition we are very lucky to be able to employ a flexible working arrangement and we thought we’d tell you why we do it and how it benefits us both as a business and employees.
Now the exact arrangements of flexible working differ per business but, for us, we make it simple. We each work 37.5 hours per week, normally spread out between 5 days and we all work the core business hours of 10AM while 3PM. When we start and finish work each day is down to each team member and this allows us to take control and work when it best suits our lives and daily routines. Since we also work both from home and in the office, we can make use of this in both scenarios.
We also factor this in when planning internal meetings. Since we work on a sprint based system, we meet every morning to discuss what each of us are doing that day. This normally takes place at 9:30 but can always be pushed back if some members cannot attend. For example, the recent Euros had some team members tired the next day from all the ‘excitement’.
On the following days the sprint meetings were pushed back an hour to allow team members to recover and continue to work without the hindrance of ‘excitement’ hanging over them.
Our five team members have given a little insight of what flexibility means to them and how exactly they make use of it.
I’ve utilised the flexibility in the past to give lifts to family members for doctors appointments or to work when they are unable to walk or drive themselves. This has allowed me and my family to have a lot less worry and stress regarding how to get places if it is in the middle of a work day.
I also enjoy starting earlier in the day especially when in the office as it means I get more time after work to myself which is so important for avoiding burnout, but it also allows me to catch an earlier train and avoid the major rush hour and the crowds that come with it which is even more important to me in the current Covid world.
As a business owner, you naturally work weird hours. I’m always thinking about the business and sometimes that is followed by a burst of inspiration outside of normal operating hours. But it’s the not having to feel guilty when I exchange that time for a longer lunch one day that I love about it.
I find that I’m most productive early in the morning from around 8am and in the afternoon around 3pm onwards, so flexible working in my normal day, gives me the opportunity to do my best work at my peak times. Outside of that, I’m able to spend time with my family and not feel guilty about it.
It’s the little things, like not worrying about going to the dentist, or having the odd morning off to take my son for a haircut or even getting the time back that is worked over the weekend.
Some mornings I wake up and think that there’s really no point in carrying on. Flexible working means that I can postpone the soul crushing inevitability of another dark day for a couple of hours until the Prozac kicks in.
On a brighter note, I also like to get to the supermarket first thing, usually on a Monday or Tuesday, for the weekly shop. Getting in and out early means I can avoid the crowds and there are fewer of the “wear your mask over your mouth and not your nose” brigade.
It also means that I get first dibs on the yellow labels in the end of aisle reduced price items. Let’s face it who can say no to a Tesco prawn sandwich that’s just a day past its sell-by for only 89p? Or a big piece of Wensleydale with jalapeño peppers. It tastes like boke but for only 28p it’s worth forcing it down.
I usually get back to the grind about 10.30 well before lunch time so I can get a few productive hours in before enjoying my mouldy sandwich. It’s also good to know that I can stop an hour early and make it up the next day on the odd occasion that I come down with salmonella.
Before joining Brand Ambition, flexible working was something I’d only really seen others do in practice – mainly colleagues of mine that are parents having days working at home, finishing early or coming in late based around childcare.
It’s not something that I’d ever really considered, but it’s been so helpful. I try to get to the gym a few times a week after work so having that flexibility to start early and finish early to beat the post-work rush is great, it means I can work out in relative peace and quiet!
Away from exercise, the ability to work around a schedule, especially close to a weekend means a lot. Recently, I’d not seen my parents in a while and they came up to stay one weekend so finishing early and making the time up the next week meant I could get quality time in with them. It shows a real element of trust from the business that we’ll get on with the work and do what we need to do.
Working with flexible hours is something that I am really grateful and appreciative of at Brand Ambition. I have made use of this a few times already!
Most weeks I play football, and in the summer I have cricket nets, so having the option to start a little bit earlier and shift the time I finish is really helpful when I have to travel somewhere. I was also able to give my friend a lift to pick up a new car last week from Bradford, which I wouldn’t have been able to do if there was a rigid day structure.
During the Euros, flexible working was extremely useful, especially after England had a late-night victory on a Wednesday night where I made use of an extra hour in the morning before getting to my desk!
While the company is only receiving the same number of hours from employees using flexitime as it would using a more standard daily schedule, the quality of those working hours is much increased. Allowing employees to start when they like allows them to begin working when they are ready to work free from distraction or other responsibilities.
There are many times in life when something has to take priority over work and you have no choice but to take a morning or afternoon off to deal with it. This can be anything from taking children to school in the morning to leaving a little early in the afternoon to leave for a holiday. Flexitime allows us to complete these tasks and work when we are free from other responsibilities.
We believe that this creates a relationship between employees and the business where there is mutual respect. Each employee respects the business to put in at least the required hours, if not more and the business respects that employees have lives outside of work and that sometimes we can’t all adhere to a rigid schedule.
As well as this there are several studies that suggest flexitime increases employee retention, productivity and engagement. All of these things are surefire ways to save money and increase your income which is a win for everyone.