Tag Archives: corporate

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.

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The Right to Request Flexible Working- It’s Finally Here!

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The legislation is officially coming into force today, 30th June 2014. Woohoo!

It’s finally here! UK employees now have the right to request flexible working after 26 weeks’ service, rather than only those with children under the age of 17 (or 18 if the child is disabled) and those with other caring responsibilities.

But what does this really mean? Here are a few of your top questions answered:

What counts as flexible working?

Many different modes of working can be described as flexible employment. These include:

Job sharing: This usually means two people being employed in the same role and job and splitting the hours.

Working from home: This is when the employee does some (or all) of the work from home or anywhere else other than the normal place of work.

Part time: This refers to any arrangement involving working less than full-time hours (usually by working fewer days).

Compressed hours: This means working full-time hours but over fewer days than normal.

Flexitime: The employee chooses when to start and end work (within agreed limits). Usually, the employee will have previously agreed ‘core hours’.

Annualised hours: The employee is required to undertake a certain number of hours over the year but they have some flexibility about when they work.

Staggered hours: The employee has different start, finish and break times from other workers.

Phased retirement: Now that the previous default retirement age has been phased out, older workers have more choice over their employment. This means that they might reduce their hours or work part-time.

Does the new flexible working legislation guarantee that I can work flexibly?

No, as there are reasons that your employer can use to turn down your request for flexible. However, in rejecting your request they must provide

For what reasons can my employer turn down my request for flexible working?

There are several reasons why your employer may turn down your request for flexible working. For example:

  • Implementing flexible working may involve extra costs which would be detrimental to the business
  • Flexibility would not allow the business to meet customer demand
  • It is not possible for the work to be reorganised among other staff
  • It is not possible for people to be recruited to do the work
  • Flexible working arrangements would have an effect on quality and performance
  • There is insufficient work to do during the proposed working times
  • The business is in the process of planning changes to the workforce

Where should  I go to get more information on flexible working?

If you require more information on these changes go to GOV.UK, or ACAS.

If you’re looking for a new flexible role, sign up to Flexiworkforce today!

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Happy Flexi Day!

 

 

Entrepreneurs- Take Time to Recharge Your Batteries This Summer!

A new report has revealed that third of entrepreneurs are guilty of taking no time off over the summer!

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If you run your own business then more than likely, you’ll be familiar with entrepreneurial burnout- that feeling of exhaustion and overhwelm that seems to creep up after a busy period. Entrepreneurs are only human, meaning that even the most workaholic of CEOs sometimes need a break!

Shockingly, research provided by Sage reveals that last year up to a third of entrepreneurs took no time off for a break over the summer.

Work/life balance is something that more and more of us strive for, and yet, very very entrepreneurs consider themselves to be successful in balancing their business with family life and other commitments. Your business may be your life, but it shouldn’t take over your life!

There are many reasons why you should make time for holidays. Regular breaks from work will give your body and mind a well-deserved rest. A break will provide you with perspective, time to think and time to bond with your family. Going on holiday will allow your to return to your business feeling refreshed and more ready to take on challenging projects. A holiday may even give you time to come up with your next big idea!

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Before you go…

Make sure that you are able to delegate responsibilities before you leave for your holiday, to ensure that your staff have plenty to work on while you are away. Set targets and measure their productivity by what they achieve in your absence.

What about remote working??

At Flexiworkforce, we are fully aware of the benefits that remote working can bring to a business. Having the ability to communicate with anyone in the world at the touch of a button is nothing short of incredible. However, take care not to let your summer holiday turn into an extended business meeting! Check your emails a maximum of once per day, replying only to those that warrant your immediate attention. As for the rest, they can wait! Try to keep Skype meetings to a minimum .

Best Holidays for Entrepreneurs

A Spa Break

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What could be more revitalizing than some true R&R in a beautiful spa environment. This kind of holiday will be beneficial for mind and body, meaning that you will be sure to return to work in a calm and zen-like state! Try new treatments like mud wraps and botanical facials . Embark upon a detox programme and have soothing massages to melt away your entrepreneurial stresses!

The Great Outdoors

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Although the idea of leaving the metropolis might be scary to some city slickers, the countryside offers a unique sense tranquility that will no doubt be beneficial to your frazzled nerves. Life in the country forces us to slow down and enjoy operating at a slower pace. Make your holiday truly unforgettable by trying crazy new extreme sports mountain unicycling or perhaps even zorbing!

European Adventure

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If you’re more of a culture vulture, pack your bags and head to a quaint European city like Prague, or Tallinn. Experiencing new cultures is always great for inspiring new ideas, while allowing you to leave the daily grind of the office. If you like to always be busy, pack in a lot of galleries, exhibitions and museums, and by the time you return to work you will really feel as though you’ve some time away from your everyday life!

Happy Holidays, Entrepreneurs!

How Flexiblility Works For Older Workers

Generation GapView Post

Image via Buzz and Trends

UK’s population is aging and it is vital that companies are able to access valuable, talented older worker in order to ensure the growth and maintenance of the UK economy.

There has been some progress recently in creating a more equal workforce. More older people are finding – and staying – in work, according to the latest job figures. But it is still much tougher to get back into the employment market if you lose your job in middle age. Overall, inequalities in job opportunities persist.

However, ageism is remains rife in our society, with statistics suggesting the difficulties of looking for work as an older person. According to a recent Saga article, 400,000 over 50s currently registered as unemployed, with 43% of those being considered to be ‘long term’ unemployed.

How Flexiworkforce Can Help to Meet the Needs of Older Workers

On a per weight basis, humans pack in more neurons than any other species. That’s what makes us so smart!<br />
From the TED-Ed Lesson What percentage of your brain do you use? - Richard E. Cytowic<br />
Animation by TOGETHER

 

Image via Ted-Ed

Firstly, Flexiworkforce offers a wide range of flexible opportunities, meaning that older workers who are excluded from conventional hours and full-time work are able to find fulfilling employment which fits around their needs and other commitments. Of course, many over 50s may be fully capable and willing to work conventional hours.  However, for those who require flexible employment, Flexiworkforce will provide these individuals with the high-quality opportunities that older workers need and deserve

Secondly, Flexiworkforce will introduce the over 50 generation to modern modes of employment. This includes temporary contracts and ‘interim’ work. Gone are the days of a ‘job for life’, we believe that these new ways of working  enable greater choice and autonomy, resulting in individuals being empowered to choose work which they find meaningful and rewarding.

Thirdly,  Flexiworkforce will enable older workers to strike a favourable balance between work and life commitments.  A large percentage of older workers require income to supplement their pension, and others choose to work later into their retirement years.

Finally, Flexiworkforce will contribute to the overall wellbeing of 50+ individuals by encouraging greater independence in old age. Challenging working opportunities provide the mental stimulation needed at any age, but especially by people in their later years.

Flexiworkforce is a specialist online job site dedicated to all forms of flexible work, due to launch shortly. For updates, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook.

How to Make Flexible Working Work for your Business:

Advice for Employers

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Image via Office Now/Creative Commons

We recently covered what employees need to know about the forthcoming changes to flexible working legislation. Therefore, today’s blog post will be aimed at employers who wonder how best to make these changes work for their businesses.

Legislation coming into force in June 2014 will mean that all UK employees will gain the right to request flexible working after 26 weeks’ service, rather than only those with children under the age of 17 (or 18 if the child is disabled) and those with other caring responsibilities.

It is clear that this new legislation will bring certain benefits, such an increasingly diverse UK workforce. However, some may be apprehensive about how such a change could affect their business. Here are a few of your top queries answered.

How Can the New Flexible Working Legislation Help my Business?

There is much evidence to suggest that flexible working may have a positive impact upon businesses.  This is due to a number of reasons, namely:

  • Flexible working may allow companies to hold onto valuable staff,
  • Flexible working allows companies access to a wider talent pool, including individuals who for whatever reason are excluded from conventional 9 to 5 hours. Companies with an interest in increasing diversity gain recognition for their achievements.
  • Flexible working may help to reduce absenteeism, and also may help to combat stress-related absences.
  • Flexibility may increase employee commitment, and there is evidence to suggest that flexibility boosts productivity.
  • Companies may be more able to extend opening hours due to the wider availability of the workforce.
  • Businesses may save money with the aid of remote/ flexible working, which would allow for resources, including office space and working to be used more efficiently.

What Kinds of Flexible Working Can My Employees Request?

There are many different types of flexible working that your employees can request. It is likely that your business already accommodates at least one of these flexible ways of working:

Job sharing: This usually means two people being employed in the same role and job and splitting the hours.

Working from home: This is when the employee does some (or all) of the work from home or anywhere else other than the normal place of work.

Part time: This refers to any arrangement involving working less than full-time hours (usually by working fewer days).

Compressed hours: This means working full-time hours but over fewer days than normal.

Flexitime: The employee chooses when to start and end work (within agreed limits). Usually, the employee will have previously agreed ‘core hours’.

Annualised hours: The employee is required to undertake a certain number of hours over the year but they have some flexibility about when they work.

Staggered hours: The employee has different start, finish and break times from other workers.

Phased retirement: Now that the previous default retirement age has been phased out, older workers have more choice over their employment. This means that they might reduce their hours or work part-time.

What if Flexible Working is Unsuitable For My Business?

There are many forms of flexible working which are suitable for all businesses, regardless of size or turnover. However, if you find that an employee’s request for flexible working is unsuitable for your company, there are many reasons that enable you to deny the request. There include:

There are several reasons why your employer may turn down your request for flexible working. For example:

  • Implementing flexible working request may involve extra costs which would be detrimental to the business
  • Implementing the request would prevent the business to meet customer demand
  • It is not possible for the work to be reorganised among other staff
  • It is not possible for people to be recruited to do the work
  • The requested flexible working arrangements would have an effect on quality and performance
  • There is insufficient work to do during the proposed working times
  • The business is in the process of planning changes to the workforce

How Do I Deal With Requests For Flexible Working?

When you receive a request for flexible working, you should request a meeting within 28 days to discuss your employee’s request.You then must make a decision within 14 days of the meeting and inform the employee of your decision.

If you accept your employee’s request for flexible working you must give the employee a new contract. It is worth noting that your employee has the right to appeal if you don’t agree to the request.

Where Do I Go to Get More Information on Implementing Flexible Working?

If you require more information on the changing legislation go to GOV.UK, or ACAS.

Furthermore, you could read advice on how to implement flexible working for SMEs, and tips for implementing remote working.