Advice Centre

Championing Flexible Working Hours


Benchmark Recruit Career Advice, advice-centre

With Mother’s Day fast approaching we are turning our heads to the working mums who strive to strike a balance between home and professional life.

It still surprises us that there are companies in Sheffield and South Yorkshire who are unwilling to bend when it comes to flexible working hours, essentially alienating a large proportion of the female workforce.

An increasing amount of candidates are coming to Benchmark after their part time needs could not be catered for.  In some cases people are returning from maternity leave and are being told they need to seek alternative employment if they are looking to take reduced hours.

“This observation surprises us as we thought we had moved away from this short sighted view of females in the workplace.  This assumption is based on our own adaptive approach at Benchmark where we embrace part time workers and do not want to alienate mothers or fathers by not accommodating their requests for flexible working hours.  I would encourage employers to look at their options before turning away talented individuals purely based on their personal circumstances,” said Founder of Benchmark, Louisa-Harrison-Walker.

Here at Benchmark we embrace flexible working hours to suit employee needs ultimately getting commitment and loyalty in return.  One of our team works three days but splits this over four during term time to accommodate school pick ups, and then in the school holidays rolls it back into three to allow more time with children when they are not in school.

At Benchmark we are keen for employers to realise there are options that will prevent losing quality staff unnecessarily.  This short sightedness will be detrimental to a company as they will be losing talent and damaging employee branding, potentially alienating other staff.

By approaching part time requests in a flexible open manor and discussing between the two parties, in our experience you will always find a positive solution.  Take our guidance and consider these options:

  1. Intensive hours

Can a couple of long days be incorporated into the part time hours to make up for not working on other days?  Two long and one standard days can be a good compromise.

  1. Working from home

With a trusted employee picking up hours from home is a great option.  Essentially they are able to work with no distractions, and this time is generally more productive.  Splitting one day into two halves from home and then the remainder of the time in the office works for many part timers.

  1. Term time and non term time split

Having two different working patterns to suit school demands is a great option and demonstrates to the employee your commitment and understanding of their personal circumstance.

  1. Job Share

Considering two part time employees to share the workload is a great arrangement.  You get no mid week lethargy but two people who come fuelled with energy for the working week.  With the right procedure in place and willingness from both parties this is easy to manage.

For employees looking to face this conversation with your employer we would encourage you to ask how adaptable they are rather than assuming there is no option as we strongly believe a balance can be found.  This advice splits both ways and can work for father’s too as they are often primary carers and seeking part time hours to take the strain of childcare.

If you find that you are unable to work your hours to suit your lifestyle get in touch with our team at Benchmark and we can advise you on employers who are open to part time workers.