Firstly, what is flex?
Flex = flexible working: a working pattern or schedule which is not Monday – Friday, 9-5.
Although flexible working has been around for a while, only recently has it become a recognised way of working for the majority of people. Historically working parents (often mothers) have requested it to help balance childcare responsibilities, and denial of these requests has been a leading cause of the female brain drain for decades.
At Juggle we are interested in helping people to forge long term relationships with companies, albeit on a flexible basis. We see flexible working fall into one of the following three categories:
|Part-time||2-4 days per week||Not juggling another paid role|
|Full-time with flex||4-5 days per week||High degree of autonomy over schedule|
|Portfolio||1-8 days per month||Juggling another paid role|
And there is a multitude of benefits, such as:
- Employing flexibly is great value for money.
Because employment is measured and paid based on time in, you save money by engaging someone on a part-time basis instead. Functions like finance, HR, and marketing, all have high levels of automation within them now, meaning you can employ a high quality, tech-savvy professional on a part-time basis and configure a lot of the core execution work through intelligent platforms.
Some typical rates can be found here.
- You attract self-managing people.
To work flexibly, successfully, one must be highly organised and deliver high-quality work with little management. It is how referrals and contract extensions come about – when everything feels easy from the employer’s perspective. Meaning you reap these benefits and attract high quality, self-managing people simply by being ahead of the curve.
- When you employ flexibly, there are no hidden costs.
People typically work on a self-employed basis, meaning the rate you are quoted is the amount that you pay. There are no hidden benefits, tax, or national insurance on top. For SME business owners, cash flow and management is king, so keeping on top of that with your most expensive outgoings (staff) in a flexible, lower-risk manner, makes a lot of sense even beyond the pandemic.
- You can choose experience over inexperience.
Training programmes and hierarchical structures are the lifeblood of corporates, but they often flounder in SMEs. That is because these businesses need people who know their craft already and can simply get on with the job. Simply speaking, hiring flexibly enables SMEs to hire the £100K person for £60K.
- It is what people want.
In a study by HSBC in 2017 (pre-pandemic), they found that 87% of millennials maturing into the professional job market found that flexibility was the number one priority, well above remuneration. The pandemic has accelerated the trend towards flexibility even further, as people want more autonomy in their lives.
Lead don’t follow.
Despite the pandemic, society is still early in the flexible working journey. By adopting it now, you can adapt much faster than others to the nuances involved and reap the subsequent benefits.