Sometimes, the most talented prospects in your field can’t work the traditional nine to five. Rather than dismiss these potential hires as incompatible with your business, you may choose to restructure the demands of your job so that they can join your team! These are known as flexible work arrangements, and they are gaining popularity alongside innovative new office interiors in New Zealand, as businesses look for new ways to secure the top talent in their industry. But what are flexible work arrangements, exactly? How do they benefit your business and what should you do if an employee requests one? Read on to learn more.
What are flexible working arrangements?
Flexible working arrangements are agreements made between employers and employees to allow variations from the standard working conditions of the business. Flexible work might take any of several possible forms, such as different work times, non-traditional paid leave requests, job-sharing, or work location, among others.
Flexible working arrangements are often negotiated to accommodate employees working under unique circumstances, thus allowing them to better meet the demands of their jobs and provide greater value to the company. In New Zealand, employees have a legal right to request these arrangements, and Employment New Zealand offers policies and guidance to make these requests formal and accessible.
Why are flexible working arrangements important?
In today’s competitive business landscape, businesses need to take every step they can to secure the top talent and give themselves a leg up on their competitors. Flexible working arrangements are a formal, legally sanctioned way for businesses to meet their employees half-way. Talented employees are a major asset, which is why a growing number of companies feel that flexible work is worth the administrative headache and inconsistency it sometimes causes. Many New Zealand businesses have found that the availability of flexible working arrangements improved employee retention, which resulted in more efficient workflow and higher workplace morale.
How to manage requests for flexible working arrangements
Flexible working arrangements are often permanent changes to a worker’s employment. For this reason, requests need to be treated seriously. For example, an employee could make a formal request for flexible work in writing including their name, reference to Part 6AA of the Employment Relations Act 2000, the nature, date, and justification for the proposed arrangement, and an explanation of the changes the business will have to make. In this case, the business must afford that request a fair consideration and formal response within 30 days.
While you can refuse the request if it is incompatible with the business’ existing structure or plans for future growth, it pays to work with your employees whenever possible. Your staff is your business’ biggest asset and you should do what you can to earn a reputation as an attractive destination for your industry’s top talent.
Make flexible work part of a broader office wellness strategy
Flexible work arrangements are just one effective way to make your business an enticing destination for talented employees. Innovative, comfortable office design is another. At DB Interiors, the leading commercial interior designers Auckland has to offer, we understand the role your office design plays in the overall wellbeing and culture of your workforce. That’s why our dedicated team of professional designers bring all their unparalleled industry knowledge to every project. Contact DB Interiors today to learn more!