Despite a growing awareness of the benefits of flexible working, many workplaces still don’t support their staff to work flexibly. Even when flexible work options are offered, you may still be concerned to take these up if you feel that your manager and/or colleagues will see you as less committed to your job and are worried that working flexibly will have a negative impact on your career progression.
So, here are a few reasons why you should be proud of being a flexi-worker (feel free to share these with your employer!)
1. Your employer is lucky to have you!
Employers who are rigid about staff working full-time non-flexible roles, miss out on the fantastic untapped talent and experience which is not accessible unless flexibility is offered. NZ has a low unemployment rate and a long-term skill shortage, so there is fierce competition to attract talented staff. You are a valuable resource who can contribute essential skills and experience, and possibly also a diverse perspective which will help strengthen your team.
2. People working flexibly are more productive
Plenty of international and NZ research backs this up. When you are focused on getting the job done rather than being seen to work long hours, you’re more efficient – ripping through the work as quickly as possible. You are no doubt highly effective at prioritisation – attending essential meetings and declining meetings where you would have been only filling a seat. Part-time workers are like sports players coming from the bench – they burst into the office with fresh energy, advance a pile of work, and then leave after making a great contribution.
3. Flexi-workers are happier and healthier
When you have greater autonomy around work, you can better manage your physical and mental wellbeing. This may include occasionally working from home and avoiding the stress of commuting in rush hour traffic, or working flexible hours so that you can start early and leave at 4pm to head to the gym before going home. Flexible working reduces pressure on home life, particularly for employees with children.
4. People with flexible options are more engaged and loyal
When your workplace trusts you get your job done without relying on presenteeism, you feel empowered. You no doubt appreciate your employer’s support for working flexibly, are more committed, and less likely to look for a new job. Offering flexible work is shown to be an important way that employers can attract and retain skilled workers.
5. Your life outside of work is important – value it
Flexible working provides you with more choice about how and when you work, and how work fits in with other life priorities. Remember that these priorities are incredibly important – like raising children, managing an illness or disability, starting a new business, pursuing a passion, or volunteering for a good cause. Don’t feel guilty about spending time on important aspects of your life outside of work.
6. In a modern world, flexible working is essential
Our workplace model is a product of the industrial revolution and for many, does not reflect an optimal way of working in the modern world. Our workforce demographics and technology have transformed Aotearoa’s workforce, and we need to adapt the way that we work. As a flexible worker, you are providing a valuable role model of the new norm of work – you might just be a bit ahead of your time at your current workplace!
So, be proud of being a flexible worker –
you are helping to change the way we work for the better.