I have been working at VIA for over 6 months now and wanted to share some thoughts I had on the differences between working in the real world and university.
In an age where developers and designers can conduct their day-to-day work at any time of day, at any location in the world, flexible working hours can be very beneficial to both the employee, and the employer.
Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Terry, web developer here at VIA Creative. I live in Darlington, approximately 20 miles from our office, and drive in to work every day. VIA’s regular working hours are 9am to 5:30pm, and traffic can be a killer at those times.
Luckily, VIA offers all staff members flexible working hours, meaning I can come into work at any time I want, do my 7.5 hours, then leave. And since I’m typically an early riser, I choose to work between 7am and 3:30pm. Thus, I rarely encounter traffic on my daily commute.
Why isn't it more common?
So why do a lot of employers still force workers to come in for 9am on the dot? The answer is I’m not sure. I guess it’s a control thing whereby employers want to see exactly what an employee is doing at any given time. Or maybe it’s because communication could be affected – but in this day and age where we have tools like Slack, is that really still a problem?
There are benefits in flexible working to both the employee and the employer. The employee benefits are clear:
- I can avoid rush hour traffic
- I can run errands during the working day which would otherwise have to wait till the weekend (I'm looking at you, Barclays)
- I feel that my employer trusts me to get my work completed without the need for supervision
- I am able to leave work early for family events or hobbies
- I can visit the doctor or the dentist during working hours
And just to name some benefits to the employer…
- Longer opening hours - VIA is now effectively open from 7 instead of 9
- Less risk of employee burn-out as they can take a break when they need to
- Greater staff morale and employee satisfaction, increasing loyalty to your company
- Increased ability to attract new staff when hiring
We believe flexible working arrangements are extremely beneficial. Here at VIA, we’ve all used them at one point or another (some of us on a regular basis!).
Does your company offer flexible working arrangements? If not, why? We'd love to hear from you!