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To think flexible working would revolutionise the workplace

(40 Posts)
TopHat33 Wed 02-Mar-16 20:24:21

I appreciate this doesn't work for all jobs. But for those it might...

I have an unpredictable job that sometimes means working 15/16 hour days or through the night. I take time off in lieu if I work a weekend or bank holiday but recently I've been on a project that has given me the opportunity to work from home a day or two every fortnight. Wow. The difference it has made to my mental health and home life is incredible.

I'm no less productive at home - probably more so. Don't lose 90 minutes to commuting and am more productive when I am in the office as it is a change of pace. Why are we so tied to office based working now we have the Internet and so many people have phones/laptops?

Today, for example, I worked a 12 hour day, but I will work from home tomorrow giving me the opportunity to put laundry on and nip out to the post office during a 30 minute break.

Quietwhenreading Wed 02-Mar-16 20:28:35

Lots of big firms already do this. My DH and I both work from home one day a week and lots of our friends do one or two days from home a week.

Personally I'm more productive at home.

poocatcherchampion Wed 02-Mar-16 20:33:58

We do this too and I agree. It is basically life changing.

Potterwolfie Wed 02-Mar-16 20:34:12

Flexible working, staggered start and finish times to ease congestion, working from home and shorter working days would without doubt revolutionise the workplace, increase or at least maintain productivity and help people with their home/work balance and general wellbeing.

I've worked freelance from home for years now, and it's enabled me to have a career while supporting DH's (he travels a LOT) and deal with the demands of family life. Wouldn't swap it for the world.

So, who's for joining the revolution?!

sunnydayinmay Wed 02-Mar-16 20:38:29

DH works from home twice a week. It just evolved over the last few years, and it is life changing for us.

He is equally productive at home, saves a 90 min commute twice a day. Saves on train fare. He actually sees the children before bedtime.

Impossible in my job at the moment, but I work part time, so can build a certain amount of flexibility in.

Trills Wed 02-Mar-16 20:41:07

My work has this.

Lots of people work from home one day a week.

When I had a longer commute I worked from home two days a week. Now I go in most days because it's close, but work from home maybe one day a month.

It can only work if you have good employees who won't take the piss.

TopHat33 Wed 02-Mar-16 20:44:02

I've got your back come the revolution potter

ChablisTyrant Wed 02-Mar-16 20:44:05

I run a team of 10 and we all work completely flexibly. We accommodate school drop offs and pick ups, night owls who like to sleep until midday, people with serious health problems who have regular hospital appointments, those who live 2 hours away and only come in once a week.

My team know that I work proper hours on 2 days of the week so if they need to talk to me face to face they make sure they are in the office too. We Skype a lot. The rest of the time anything goes, provided you get your work done.

Not surprisingly, nobody ever leaves!

SwedishEdith Wed 02-Mar-16 20:44:52

I'm all in favour of a flexible workplace and work flexibly myself. But, I think working longer hours is one of the downsides - the ease of "I'll just keep doing this so it's out of the way tomorrow" etc.

Sallycinnamum Wed 02-Mar-16 20:47:04

I work from two days a week and like you OP it has been a massive game changer for me.

I can take the DC to school, which I really enjoy and I get to stick a load of washing on during my break, am in to receive online shop etc.

I am so evangelical about home working I've got involved with a new scheme in my workplace allowing all staff to work from.home at least one day a week to free up much needed office space.

It's my belief that home working will be the norm in a decade

AnneElliott Wed 02-Mar-16 20:47:08

I'm a civil servant and our team all work at home 1 day per week. We also do flexible time so can go in late or leave early if necessary.

I love it and I'm happy to put more effort in as work are so flexible with me.

stoptryingtomakefetchhappen Wed 02-Mar-16 20:47:21

I totally agree. For jobs where it is possible, it is a fantastic way to give employees the chance to manage their time more effectively. I firmly believe that trust has to be given to the employee - 99% of the time it won't be abused and you will have a more productive workforce.

I work from home one day a week and it is my 'catching up day' where I can make calls, work on projects and get emails done without interruption. If people need me I have available in the usual ways - email, phone etc.. but it just means people are a bit more choosy with what they come to me with, which I think works better for everyone. I save 2 hours commute and end up working a much longer and more productive day.

Of course there are some things you need to be in the office for - sometimes there can be no substitute for a face to face meeting. But as long as you are organised it doesn't need to make a difference.

My company is pretty well set up for it and they have relaxed the rules which means anyone can apply for it, not just after a 'life event' such as coming back from maternity leave. It's still at line managers discretion but there's a much more rigorous process that means it is harder to say no just because you'd prefer your staff to be in the office. Managers have to demonstrate there would be a tangible negative effect on the business.

stoptryingtomakefetchhappen Wed 02-Mar-16 20:49:35

I also do staggered working hours 8-4.30 (except when I work from home) which is a life saver

Potterwolfie Wed 02-Mar-16 21:09:41

tophat Smashing! I'll bring the sandwiches...we'll need our strength...

Andrewofgg Wed 02-Mar-16 21:15:04

Working from home is fine if it's voluntary. A Minister in the Coalition Government said A house is a home, not an investment and he was right - but it's also not a place where an employer should expect to do business without paying rent, rates, electricity and water bills and without providing basic office equipment.

Divathecat Wed 02-Mar-16 21:30:44

Standard in our firm, we have 29000 home/flexible workers in Europe

TopHat33 Wed 02-Mar-16 22:11:49

Wow. Am really impressed with how standard it is for some people.

potter I would be able to make and eat the sandwiches in less time than an alleged office break (which doesn't happen in my experience)

I might try and get my firm to be more positively enlightened given the feedback here.

TopHat33 Wed 02-Mar-16 22:13:26

Out of interest - and if it's not too identifying - could you posters with positive work places tell me the industries you work in?

Guitargirl Wed 02-Mar-16 22:14:44

I have worked from home 2 or 3 days a week for the last 8 years. It works very well and I achieve a lot more on my home days than when in the office.

Guitargirl Wed 02-Mar-16 22:15:22

I work for a large national charity.

JeremyZackHunt Wed 02-Mar-16 22:17:09

My workplace does it and my current role is strategic rather than operational so I go in for days of meetings and work at home if it suits. I work hard on the home days and with the constraints of childcare and school it means I can often do extra hours rather than sit on the motorway. It works well for us.

Toomanycats99 Wed 02-Mar-16 22:24:37

I work in central London 3 days a week and home 2. I don't think I could manage 5 days travel!

My department is fairly flexible - it's more project based we have a lot of contractors etc and so it's quite common for people to only be in the office 3-4 days. We also have staff now who only work probably 30% of their time in the office. On occasion if I have a lot of work on I have worked 4 days from home. That can get a bit lonely! I love the flexibility that I can usually move the home days around to suit dd's school stuff etc. It's give and take. When needed I will be working 12/14 hour days so for me the flexibility I have with home working is the balance for it to work for me.

Quietwhenreading Wed 02-Mar-16 22:26:12

Andrew but my home sits their empty for 10 hours a day while I do business elsewhere, I'm still paying all the same bills. My working from home day means I skip a 3 hour round trip commute, my children get an hour extra sleep, I can pick them up from the school gate.

It's also helps me keep on top of the laundry as I get about four loads washed and dried.

The online shopping gets delivered in my lunch break too.

We schedule any dental appointments for those days and can just nip out and back in 20 mins

It really helps our work life balance as we both work full time.

megletthesecond Wed 02-Mar-16 22:28:28

Yanbu. It would probably minimise travel congestion for a start.

Not that I'll ever know what flexible working is like, my request was turned down because they didn't want other staff asking hmm.

HollowYourFart Wed 02-Mar-16 22:29:49

I work in IT and the flexible working arrangements I've had (school hours, any days I request from home, changing some days for evenings etc) have allowed me to keep my sanity while raising 3 kids. Many of my colleagues work different hours to suit their lives (some work mostly from home, some work certain days from home, some start & finish early).

My boss is great and he knows that his agreement to flexible hours keeps loyal staff happy.

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