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5 Reasons Why Flexi-Work Arrangements Work Best For Small Businesses

Updated: Apr 29

Are you looking to increase employee productivity and lowering operational expenses? Here's why small business owners should consider adopting flexible work arrangements.

Flexible work arrangements

The flexible work model approach is no longer merely a band-aid solution employed by enterprises to keep operations running during a crisis. Although companies were forced to resort to remote and hybrid work arrangements during the Covid pandemic, business owners and organisational leaders now find these arrangements to be beneficial, and the flexi-work model is currently the favored workplace strategy upon which businesses rely on to build long-term resilience.

Companies in the United Kingdom, in particular, are actively working towards embracing and implementing flexi-work models. According to "The Okta Hybrid Work Report 2023", majority of the UK oganisations have implemented a hybrid working model, with 36% of them allowing for remote work up to 3 days a week.

In fact, working from home is now regarded as a legal right rather than a privilege throughout the European Union, most notably in the Netherlands. Regulatory authorities and governments throughout Europe are proposing new legislations requiring workplace flexibility.

In Singapore, while more and more companies recognise the benefits that come with offering flexi-work arrangements to their employees and have rolled out such initiatives into their HR policies, small businesses still tend to be lag behind in adopting these models. Small business owners cite cybersecurity issues and the inability to measure productivity levels in virtual settings as some of the reasons why they are resistant to the idea.

However, it is important to note that flexible work arrangements should not be associated to just working from home. There are many forms of such arrangements. They include:

  • flexible working hours

  • staggered hours

  • hybrid working arrangements

  • flexible work load

  • remote work

Although it might take business owners, leaders and HR executives time and effort to think of solutions to solve challenges that might come with implementing flexi-work arrangements, the proven benefits such arrangements have brought to companies already embracing workplace flexibility are definitely worth the time sitting down at the meeting table to iron out the operational issues and details.

Here are 5 reasons why small businesses should embrace flexible work arrangements.

Benefit #1 - Increased Productivity

According to employment agency Robert Half, 60% of HR directors reported an increase in employee productivity when staff are allowed to work remotely from home. The time saved on commuting from work to home and vice versa has allowed employees to start work earlier and end later.

Flexible work schedules and arrangements can also reduce tardiness and absenteeism now that employees enjoy better work-life balance. As they become conscious of the need to prove to employers and managers that they are able to work effectively from home, they work harder to deliver the results expected of them. This thus instils a sense of personal ownership over their work schedules and standards.

A 2020 survey conducted by Airtasker, a Sydney-based outsourcing company, remote workers work 1.4 more days per month compared to full-time office employees. This translates to 16.8 more work days a year. In addition, a two-year study by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on its employees found that staff who were allowed to work from home and anywhere outside of the office were 4.4% more productive than their in-office counterparts. Both studies prove to show that unlike what some employers believe, productivity will not take a nosedive if employees are put on flexible work arrangements.

Increased employee productivity means increased efficiency and increased sales, which are vital to businesses - especially small businesses that are looking to stabilise their revenue and scale their operations.

Benefit #2 - Reduced Operational Costs

Small businesses are often tight on cash flow and will therefore have to be a lot more prudent when it comes to spending on things necessary to keep the business going, such as office equipment, office spaces, subscriptions, employee salaries, etc.

With flexible work arrangements such as hybrid work or even remote work, business owners can save on splurging on office rentals. Hot-desking schemes which allow employees to utilise shared seats and computers on days they come into office, are becoming increasingly popular. With such arrangements, firms can expand their workforce without having to expand their office space. Moreover, with concepts like hot-desking schemes, employers can enjoy the agility and flexibility to upsize or downsize their headcount without having to worry about office space and the hefty bill that comes with renting a bigger unit or paying the penalty fee for terminating a rental contract earlier.

Benefit #3 - Improved Employee Morale

Employees' moods can be lifted significantly when they get to enjoy flexibility in their work arrangements. Flexible schedules allow employees to take breaks whenever they need to without the worry of upsetting their bosses or managers. This not only makes each individual feel valued, it also decreases employee burnout from task overload.

On the contrary, employees without freedom experience stress and anxiety levels 4.6 times higher than those who have. Employees with little to no flexibility also reported a work-life balance 2.6 times worse than others. These effects can be detrimental to employees’ health. Promoting flexibility can help mitigate these issues and create a healthier work environment.

Benefit #4 - Better Talent Retention

FlexJobs’ 8th annual survey conducted in 2019 reported that 30% of its respondents left their jobs because it did not offer flexible work options. 16% sought new employment because of flexibility issues. 80% also said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.

Small businesses face more difficulties attracting top-tier talent compared to larger corporations. If small business owners want to retain their current pool of talented and valuable staff, it is time to consider adopting workplace flexibility policies.

Benefit #5 - Talent Attraction

"As SMEs step into the post-Covid-19 world, an emphasis on human capital has become more urgent for the growth and stability of SMEs." – Mr Ang Yuit, vice-president of the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (ASME)

According to research conducted by leading flexible workspace provider, International Workplace Group (IWG), 80% of workers in the United States would prefer a job that offered flexible working over one that did not, and nearly a third (30%) of them value the ability to choose their work location over an increase in annual leave days. Given these statistics, it is hardly surprising that 74% of respondents believe flexible working has become the new normal and over the last 10 years, 83% of organisations have implemented or plan to implement a flexible workplace strategy.

Should companies want to invest in human capital to scale their businesses, it stands to reason that offering flexible schedules can help firms recruit more talent given that job seekers are more interested in flexible work schedules rather than other perks companies offer.

Need Help to Improve Talent Attraction & Retention?

Ready to elevate your school's workforce and ensure long-term success? First Konnection, as a dedicated education recruitment agency, specialises in helping schools and educational organisations attract and retain top-notch talent. Our tailored approach takes into account the unique requirements and culture of educational settings, ensuring a seamless fit for candidates who not only possess the necessary skills but also share a passion for the academic mission.

From recruiting talented teachers to administrative staff, First Konnection is committed to building enduring partnerships that contribute to the growth and stability of your institution. Connect with First Konnection today, and let's collaborate to create an environment that not only attracts exceptional talent but also fosters their continued dedication to education. Shape the future of your educational institution with the right team by your side—partner with First Konnection now!

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First Konnection is a leading specialist education recruitment agency that provides recruitment and business solutions to companies in the education industry located both locally and regionally. Licensed by the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore, First Konnection has developed into a top recruitment firm for enterprises of all sizes, offering specialised turnkey solutions and invaluable advice to meet our clients' needs.


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