Flexible Working Patterns
24 July 2017
Many Chartered Accountancy firms are bringing their benefits packages up to date in order to ensure that they can attract and retain the best talent possible. One of the biggest overhauls is the attitude to working hours and flexibility. In the past, such a thing would have been unheard of and office life would be fairly routine.
Now, however, there are many different types of flexible working patterns that the industry has adopted to give their employees a better work/life balance. These lucrative benefits are also an ideal way to encourage candidates to join their company.
Here are just some of the ways that Accountancy firms are taking a more flexible approach to working life.
This style of working means that “telecommuting” or working from home will take up a big part of your week. Chances are, you may come in to the office a few days every month, but the vast majority of your time will not be spent there. This is ideal for smaller offices, where they need to ‘hot desk’ employees so that everyone has access to the relevant equipment. Emails and Skype make it possible for these candidates to join in with meetings without productivity grinding to a halt.
Annualised Hours Contracts
This approach particularly suits the tax industry that has peaks and troughs in its busy times. It allows employees to work a certain number of hours over the year. This often means that they can have several months on end where they are not required to work. However, it will be the company that sets the pattern of hours, meaning the time off might not always be what an employee hoped for.
This takes the approach that work is not a place, but an activity. So, if you need to work from a café, library or home, that is all part and parcel of an agile working plan. This style of working means the removal of traditional ‘success’ measures such as time keeping and attending and focuses purely on outcome and results. Many companies – including large multi-nationals – have taken the approach that they don’t care where the work is done, as long as goals are met and projects are completed.
Probably the most well-known working practice is flexitime. You have a 40 hour week contract and, within reason, how you fulfill that is up to you. If you want to come in at 8 and leave at 4 or start at 10 and leave at 6, as long as the work is done, you are able to create a schedule that will fit in around school runs or gym time. Usually, you will have to agree on your hours with a line manager but flexitime is fairly standard these days.
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Written By Fiona Ashcroft