Flexible Working – what are the drawbacks?

04 Mar 2019

You need to make sure you know what the potential drawbacks are to your business, and how you can address them. Consider the following:

1. Trust issues

Not everyone can be trusted with flexible working. Some people choose to take advantage of the opportunity and become more unproductive. For example, if they are working from home one day, it’s hard to monitor what that employee is doing, or more importantly isn’t doing. It requires you to know which employees you can trust and benefit from the flexible work.

2. Unpredictability

There may be deviations from group expectations around core hours, performance, responsiveness and standards of conduct. It could also put pressure on employees who
don’t want to be included in flexible working, and create scheduling issues and communication problems if the whole team is not on the same page.

3. Territory disputes

Flexible working may mean no assigned seating – which goes against our natural instinct to claim territory. Having no space of your own can make employees surprisingly disgruntled.

A few final thoughts…

Before you start on your flexible hours journey, find out what your team wants and needs to help them work more efficiently. Set up a survey and work with the results to determine the ways your office set-up can be improved.

Ultimately, flexible working arrangements will need to fit into your organisation’s strategic workforce plan. Considering the talent and the ongoing pressure to attract and retain millennials, while retaining the knowledge and expertise of more experienced workers, flexible working arrangements will be critical to your workforce strategy now and for the future.

The upshot? The benefits generally outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to flexible working, so why not give it a go? Who doesn’t want a happier and more productive workforce? Just keep in mind that it’s not always effective for everyone, and it’s down to your individual organisation to implement a policy that gives you a competitive edge.

Download A Guide To Flexible For Corporate Communications Professionals

If you would like to talk about the potential drawbacks to implementing flexible working into your business, we would love to help. Call us on 0207 9203 9290 or email

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