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Recent figures show that more and more of Britain’s top executives are working four or even three day weeks, but is that a real reflection of how much time they put in to their career obligations?
Does part time really ever work out that way? A few days a week then off to the golf course, yoga classes or gardening.
Being out of the office doesn’t mean being out of the loop. The pace of modern commerce means that keeping up often means keeping informed, even when you’re off the clock. Nothing new to journalists and people in the media in general, where the option to opt out for a few days hardly exists. There’s precious little time nor sympathy for a reporter who turns up for their shift and isn’t up to speed on every story that’s running. The world doesn’t stop turning and neither can you.
Perhaps the concept of part time is outdated, and something more - well - flexible is needed to make the modern work-life balance work for both employers and employees. Let’s call it flexible time, just for argument's sake.
It should come as no surprise then that Springfords operate an enlightened flexible time approach among our team.
With a modicum of planning, co-operation, and hand-over procedures, Springfords are not just a happy family at work, but encourage happy families at home too. That also means clients get the service they need, when they need it, from a fully briefed team. It’s not unlike the editorial hand over that’s been the norm on news desks since there’s ever been such a thing as a news desk.
That lets us manage our team availability to match our workload, and the inevitable annual peak times leading up to tax deadlines. If you’ve ever wondered how we manage to always be here for you - the secret is out.
In other business sectors, the concept of flexible time and employee choice has allowed many executives to hit four or even three day weeks. That doesn’t always mean shorter time either. Fewer but longer days can mean less commuting, and less time spent getting to and from work, with the consequent increase in productivity. Planned and scheduled work, that’s not geographically critical nor office bound, can free up a day to work from home.
Flexible working is proving a draw for recruitment as well. Research by specialist recruiters Timewise and by Management Today magazine shows that flexible working patterns are being offered by employers keen to attract new talent. Their joint findings show that there’s a source of competitive advantage for employers right there.
On the other hand, there’s is anecdotal evidence of a polarisation between salaried staff and freelancers. Ask any self employed executive, and they’ll tell you that part time and flexible working is largely a myth for them. It’s full on, full time, and then some.
However, with more and more part time and flexible opportunities coming on stream, there are greater possibilities for freelancers to combine the freedom of working for themselves with the back-stop security of a salaried position. It complicates the tax position of course, but that’s what your flexible friends at Springfords are for.