Tag Archives: careers

Flexible Working for 50+ Individuals: 4 Things You Should Know

Last week, the Flexiworkforce team were lucky enough to attend the 50+ Show. We were unique in that while most of the other exhibitors were showcasing holidays and leisure and household products, we were encouraging attendees to consider supplementing their retirement income with flexible working.

Many of the attendees were confident in their skills and abilities, yet acknowledged that there is a distinct lack of support for older workers who are interested in opting for flexible working, either pre- or post- retirement.

Others were interested in the idea but feared that they would be rejected outright on the grounds of their age.

Overall, we were very impressed by the enthusiasm and energy of the people we spoke to, including their willingness to consider new, modern ways of working. Here are the top 4 things we learned.

The over 50s are a key driving force behind the rise of flexible working in the UK

While older workers may not always feel ahead of the next tech trend in the office, they are in fact championing a new working culture in the UK through working flexibly. ‘Flexible working’ can refer to any working pattern outwith the typical Monday to Friday 9 till 5 and can include part-time, shift work, working from home and job sharing.

On average, workers in their 60s reject the typical 35 hours for a much more manageable 24, offering both a secure income and time to socialise outside of work.

The over 50s want and  need flexible work, but have been largely cut off from it. Until now.

While flexible working can be seen as the solution for older workers wishing to stagger their retirement with further employment, finding quality job vacancies that can offer flexible hours can be difficult.  CEO and founder Tracey Eker sought to rectify this problem by launching Flexiworkforce.com as the only UK-wide job site dedicated to flexible jobs.

Flexible working can be an ideal solution for older workers who working but would like the chance to also enjoy their life a bit more. There are many long-term unemployed workers who have been out of the workforce because of a lack of adequate flexible working but employers are actually desperate for their skills. Through Flexiworkforce these two groups can reach each other!

Many feel a lack of support in coming back to the workforce.

The over 50s are an invaluable talent pool which remains sorely underutilised by western society. The societal problem of ageism means that older workers often have a hard time getting into jobs that they are deemed ‘overqualified’ for, others feel forced out of a job before they’re ready. While ageism remains a serious issue, there is very little data available to quantify the issue.

However, many enlightened employers are keen to hire individuals over the age of 50, such as the banking group Santander, who are keen that their staff reflect the diverse age-mix of their customers.

 Flexible working- a good balance:

In recent years there has been something of a mindshift in the way we view retirement. Many choose to reject a traditional retirement in favour of flexible employment, some choosing to never fully retire. As average life-expectancy continues to increase worldwide, the multi-generational workforce will become increasingly diverse, with older workers being highly sought after for their skills and experience.

Flexibility should be the goal for over fifties aiming to retain their independence, or perhaps even strike out on a new career path, without having to endure the taxing demands of a full-time career or conventional working hours.

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How To Boost Your Income With A Flexible Retirement

The Over 50s are flying the flag for flexible working

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With the cost of living rising for everyone, many retirees today are worried that their pensions may not be enough for them to enjoy their retirement. This uncertainty is also reflected in employment figures as only 38% of those above the state pension age are in fact fully retired. With the number of over-65 works doubling in the last decade alone, finding a rewarding job that offers the chance to also enjoy your life is no small task.

While older workers may not always feel ahead of the next tech trend in the office, they are in fact championing a new working culture in the UK through working flexibly. ‘Flexible working’ can refer to any working pattern outwith the typical Monday to Friday 9 till 5 and can include part-time, shift work, working from home and job sharing, all options very popular with workers in their 50s, 60s and 70s. On average, workers in their 60s reject the typical 35 hours for a much more manageable 24, offering both a secure income and time to socialise outside of work.

While flexible working can be seen as the solution for older workers wishing to stagger their retirement with further employment, finding quality job vacancies that can offer flexible hours can be difficult.  Following her own struggle to find flexible work after having twins, businesswoman Tracey Eker sought to rectify this problem by launching Flexiworkforce.com, the only UK-wide job site dedicated to flexible jobs.

Discussing the potential of flexible working to empower older workers, Tracey Eker asserts that, ‘Flexible working can be an ideal solution for older workers who working but would like the chance to also enjoy their life a bit more. There are many long-term unemployed workers who have been out of the workforce because of a lack of adequate flexible working but employers are actually desperate for their skills. Through Flexiworkforce we can connect these groups!

Flexiworkforce will be attending the upcoming ‘The 50+ Show’ in Glasgow this month as well as giving presentations on the potential of flexible working for older workers, including discussion with Jo Swinson, Cabinet Under-Secretary of State for Employment Relations, and the banking chain Santander.

Top Jobs for Work-Life Balance-Revealed

Do you crave a flexible role that works around you? Find out the top flexible jobs of 2014

Work-life balance is an ongoing  21st century battle for employees and freelancers alike. Those who work full-time hours run the risk of sacrificing home life, free time and family commitments.

Often, employers do not fully understand the benefits that instilling a culture of flexible balance can have for their organisation, meaning that all too many workers continue to struggle with effectively balancing home life and their career.

Enlightened employers across diverse sectors are beginning to fully realise the advantages of a flexible, agile workforce, although some sectors are moving faster than others in this respect.. And with work-life balance being a top priority of the millennial generation (who make up 50% of the current workforce, it is arguable as to long employers can afford to ignore the call for flexible work schedules.

Here is a list of the jobs which currently rank top in the work-life balance :

1. Web Developer/App Designer

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Web developers and app/game designers often enjoy a relaxed working environment which frequently includes a flexible working schedule.

2. Supply/Substitute Teacher

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Supply teachers are likely to work on an on-call basis, meaning maximum flexibility and choice in working hours.

3. Customer Service/ Help Desk Advisor

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Working on a flexible shift basis means that customer service/ help desk advisors have greater control over their working schedules than those who are confined to 9-5 hours.

4. Sales Representative/Salesperson

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Working in sales, you are likely to be measured on results and productivity vs. presenteeism. Where and when you work is not important as how you work.

5. Admin/Office Assistant

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Admin/ Office Assistant roles are ideal for those who wish to work on a flexible, part-time basis.

6. Investment Analyst

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Investment Analysts enjoy great benefits that working for top companies can bring, such as flexible benefits and freedom of choice in working schedules

7. Marketing/ Social Media Manager

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Marketing/ Social Media Managers have a high level of work-life balance due to having the flexibility to work remotely. Again, productivity and results are more important than presenteeism in this sector.

Flexiworkforce.com is the only UK-wide jobs site solely offering flexible working roles. We have exciting roles with top companies, including RBS, PwC and Santander.

Register today to find the job that works for you.

Is Your Work ‘School for Grown Ups’?

Productivity and choice vs. Arbitrary Rules and Regulations

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Work is, essentially, school for grown ups. At least, that is the view of entrepreneur Emma Sexton, who swapped the 9-5 for running her own business.
In a recent Guardian article, she explains how her lack of faith in ‘unnecessary rules’ lead her to seek a more results oriented work life, in which productivity counts for more than doggedly sticking to conventional office hours and regulations:

‘It involves a number of other unnecessary rules, such as getting exactly 23.5 days holiday per year. What? How dare you tell me how much time off from work I can have. Do you own me?’

Frustrated by the system, Emma resorted to leaving her job in order to run her own business. While this may seem an extreme measure, Emma’s decision reflects a dilemma faced by countless individuals, disillusioned by arbitrary rules, and employers who do not allow them the freedom of working in more agile manner. ‘I am now in the second year of having my own business and working harder than ever. Yet the freedom to make up my own rules is incredible’, she states.

Sexton is, by no means, alone in her experiences. Flexiworkforce founder and CEO Tracey Eker is another example of an entrepreneur who left conventional work behind in favour of a more agile, results-oriented work life.

The issue is not one which can simply be ignored. With over a third of UK employees expressing a desire for a more agile routine, the need and desire for flexible working, involving freedom, choice and trust does not appear to be going away any time soon.

It is unfair to imply that employers are backward in their attitudes to work. A majority of UK companies offer flexible working for their staff on request. However, these forward-thinking employers must be more transparent and upfront, in order to be honest about the extent

Nevertheless, employers’ attitudes are changing rapidly, as more and more discover the true benefits that trusting relationships with agile employees bring to their business. From greater efficiency to better staff retention, trusting your employees to work like adults will only be beneficial to business!

Fancy Shrinking Your Week with Compressed Hours?

Is less more when it comes to productivity at work?

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A month after changes to flexible working legislation, and employers have faced a rise in requests for flexible working. While most people are familiar with the idea of flexi-time and remote working, compressed hours is arguably a more difficult concept to come to terms with.

There has been a lot of debate surrounding the idea of the compressed working week after the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim publicly stated his support for a three-day working week which would involve 11-hour shifts and employees working well into their 70s. Entrepreneur Richard Branson, later stated the proposed working week ‘could work’.

Nevertheless, others are less sure of the viability of a compressed week, and you may find it challenging to convince your employer that your output will be improved by working less rather than more!

A flexible working arrangement based around fitting all the work usually done in a conventional five-day working week into a shorter period of time. Commonly, a compressed week may involve working Monday to Thursday with Friday off.

Advantages

  •       A compressed working week may allow you to gain free time without losing income.
  •       Working compressed hours may save you money spent on commuting to and from your workplace. Similarly, money will be saved on childcare.
  •       Working compressed hours may allow you to gain a better work/life balance, and would give you the time to things that previously would have had to schedule for weekends and holiday days.
  •       The majority of employees who work compressed hours report that their productivity and motivation increases when they lose a working day from their schedule.

Drawbacks

  •       Some may find the demands of squeezing their work into a shorter period of time demanding, both physically and mentally
  •       An increase in the length of the working day would make for less free time the evenings after work.

As with all modes of working, there are advantages and disadvantages of working compressed hours. If you think compressed hours is for you, arranging a trial period with your employer may be the way to go when trying to convince them that less is more when it comes to increasing your efficiency and agility at work.