New Year's Resolution: Make a Flexible Working Request
If you saw the Channel 4 programme ‘Super Commuters’ over the festive period it might have got you thinking about your own work/life balance.
The show featured people from across the country with different commuting lengths including an HR Manager who travelled from the Isle of Wight to London every day, a six hour round trip! He stated that this was only possible because his employer allowed him to work flexibly, including leaving at 4pm each day on the condition that he worked remotely on the train home to make up for the final hour he would have missed had he stayed in the office.
It is now estimated that 3.7million people in the UK commute to work for two hours or more, compared to just one in nine in 2010. It is thought that this is due to an increase in housing costs meaning people are being priced out of living in areas close to where they work.
One solution to greater travelling distances is flexible working, a right now available to all employees once they have worked for the same company for at least 26 weeks, whereas previously it was only available to those with children or caring responsibilities. Flexible working allows employees to ask to change the days, hours or place they work, and can only be refused by an employer for certain legal reasons.
Flexible working is now not only used by those who have young children but also for those wishing to avoid peak travelling times when transport links are most congested as well as those like the Super Commuters who want to improve their work/life balance by living in the countryside or by the sea whilst retaining their jobs in larger towns and cities.
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to improve your work/life balance and you are interested in finding out more about flexible working or would like help with an application please contact one of our experts in the Employment Team on 01279 755777.