The theme of this year’s campaign got us thinking about how much things are changing in the work place for women and how employers can better support people at work.
For a range of reasons, although often parenting related, many people choose to apply for flexible working. Flexible working can help enable people to manage the different demands in their lives. Indeed many women (and men) apply for flexible working when they have childcare needs to consider. It can be difficult to balance the needs of children or dependants with a full-time 9-5 job and this can lead to employees feeling stressed out or 'torn' between different demands on their time and attention.
When it works well, flexible working can help employees manage their time and the expectations of their employers and this can lead to reduced stress and improved wellbeing.
And there are multiple direct benefits for employers too. Flexible working has been shown to lead to an increase in staff morale, lower absenteeism and better staff retention rates.
If you're thinking of applying for flexible working, whatever your reasons, here are some tips to consider:
Think about your personality and your working style
Research carried out by First Psychology in 2015 on work-life balance, concluded that not all styles of working suit everyone. Some people find it helpful to be 'contactable' during their time off, while others find it stressful. Make sure you tailor your request around your working style. Don't say in your request that you're happy to check emails on your 'days off' if this stresses you out. The whole point of applying for flexible working is to help you manage your life better.