For many businesses, the lead-up to Christmas can be amongst the busiest times of the year. For staff, it can also be frenetic. Heavier workloads, holiday plans, Christmas gift shopping, parties, the kids’ end of year activities … and so it goes on.
In the new year, working parents also have the challenge of managing parenting with school holidays. Again, many businesses ask more of their staff each new year to compensate for reduced staffing levels due to the summer holiday spike.
From an HR perspective, the Christmas-New Year period has always required flexible working arrangements.
Because employers are most likely to ask staff to put in longer hours or deliver above their usual KPIs to meet end-of-year demand. While staff are more likely to ask for earlier finishing times, later starting times and/or longer lunch breaks.
Ordinarily, these extremely different demands would seem mutually exclusive. But that’s where Festive Flexibility comes in.
What is Festive Flexibility?
We define Festive Flexibility as employers and staff working together and being solutions focused so they can each have the flexibility they require to meet end of year obligations.
In reality, it means being clear about the outcomes management requires and the KPIs each member of staff needs to achieve. Then it requires trusting your staff to get on with the job while providing them with the flexibility they want to balance their work responsibilities and family obligations.
Examples of giving staff extra flexibility during the pre-Christmas rush and summer holiday spike include:
- Working from home on days when staff are asking to leave work early so they can eliminate the commute time and work normal hours
- Accepting staff requests for earlier starts or later finishes on certain days so they can work reduced hours on other days and still achieve their KPIs
- Allowing staff to work longer hours some days in exchange for a day off to run pre-Christmas errands, attend their children’s end of year activities or parenting responsibilities while their kids are on holidays
Trust and 2-way, respectful conversations are the key to achieving Festive Flexibility
Offering flexible working arrangements means more than allowing staff to work from home. In reality, flexible work is about helping staff remain productive as they try to balance work with their life responsibilities.
Flexible work is different for every workplace. But the amazing thing is, there are now few industries where flexible working arrangements can’t be achieved with a little negotiation and thinking outside the square. In return, employers receive:
- Greater staff productivity
- Fewer unplanned leave days
- Increased staff retention
- A bigger pool of first-class candidates when recruiting new staff
Need help with your Festive Flexibility?
Get in touch with the team at End2end Business Solutions. We’ll help you negotiate the flexible working arrangements your staff want while still achieving the business outcomes you need.