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How a flexible workforce helps your business

Having a workforce that's more flexible and diverse can benefit your staff and business. Here's what you need to do if someone asks for a flexible work arrangement.

Offering your staff flexibility means allowing them to work in ways that fit in with their home life. It could mean letting staff work some hours at home or work a mix of long and short days.

Employees with the best work/life balance are more likely to work harder, faster and stay with you longer. You may also find offering flexible working is more attractive to job seekers, too.

Any employee can ask to work flexible hours. As a business owner, you must respond to a written request within a month of getting it.

When you get a request to work flexibly, think about how it could affect your business. You may need several discussions with your worker to find an arrangement that suits both of you.

There are valid reasons to turn down a flexible working request, including:

  • It’s not practical to spread work around current staff.
  • You can’t find more staff, eg to share a job.
  • It could affect quality or performance.
  • It’ll cost your business more.
  • You won’t be able to meet customer demands.
  • It will affect your team.

You can always give it a go on a trial basis. If it’s not working, be honest but be open to alternative solutions.

Free workshops to help small business owners

Free workshops to help small business owners think about how to get and retain good staff by making flexibility part of their workplace culture will be held in Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton from March to May.

These will offer practical ways to fill staff shortages and keep pace with a changing workforce. Numbers are limited.

Find out more and sign up to attend on the Ministry for Women website.

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