job sharing

So what is flexible working anyway?

You’ve most likely heard the term a million times, especially of late, but some of you may be wondering what it means to work in a flexible role.

It’s our speciality, we recruit for roles that support this way of working and won’t accept anything less for our candidates, so we’ve seen a variety of methods offered by companies to help supply the work/life balance and flexibility modern working families require.


Flexible is the future!


We have a large pool of talented parents, men included, that absolutely need this way of working. Most feel that they’re unable to work due to the inflexibility most roles offer - add this to the growing number of employers we speak to who are in need of finding talented individuals and what’s the solution….Flexible working!


9-2-3 helps businesses tap into this pool of talent. Our candidates are motivated, driven, keen – they WANT to be in the workplace. Research by Workplace Flexibility shows that flexible workers are more engaged – they also have fewer sick days, there’s greater staff retention and increased productivity! The climate is right for 9-2-3!


So what is it?


So we’ve established – I hope – that flexible working is a good thing. Good for both employees and employers. But what is it? It’s not just part-time hours… 


Here we list some of the most popular ways of flexible working:




  • Working from home / Remote working is one of the most popular and productive ways of working flexibly - it avoids the commute to and from the office, better using this time to work. Many employers will offer this one or two days of the working week which allows time for the all-important nativity or sports day and means you can fulfil your working duties at times that suit you and your family.


  • Flexible hours - It can mean so many things! We speak to businesses who have core offices hours and allow employees to flex at either end of the day. It can even mean that you can do the school run back and forth each day, working in-between these hours and perhaps working additional hours in the evening - making that juggle a little easier.


  • Compressed hours – If you don’t mind working long days, then this could be the perfect arrangement for you, working all your contracted hours in fewer days. For example, fulfilling full-time hours over 4 days. Some companies are even offering Annualised hours which can really help with the school holiday juggle – allowing employees to work all their hours in term time.


  • Job sharing - It makes so much sense when you think about it! The business essentially needs a person to do a full-time role, yet they’re unable to fulfil this due to the inflexibility of the hours. So how about hiring two people to share the job? Two brains and two lots of experience in one role. The salary is divided, as well as the hours and we’re seeing this method rise in popularity. If you’re coming along to our NatWest Markets day on June 27th you’ll see this for yourself as we’re lucky enough to have two senior NatWest Markets employees join us to tell us how they make this work. (Why not come and join us for the morning – we still have some tickets left: )


So the workplace is changing…


It’s not just about mums wanting to have flexible working arrangements. It’s about dads wanting to do a weekly school run. It’s about those who have caring responsibilities for elderly/sick parents. It’s about those wanting to fit in a bit more exercise or healthy cooking or general life! Younger “millennials” are increasingly looking at 9-5 desk jobs as old-fashioned…and we can totally see why.


Flexible working is for everyone.


We’ve explained the most popular ways of flexible working, however, there are so many other ways that this can be implemented within a business, as showcased by insurance giant Aetna…




Aetna is a company that uses flexible workspaces to boost its bottom line…


  • 35,000 employees
  • 14,500 do not have a desk 
  • 2,000 employees work from home a few days a week
  • 47% of the company’s workforce uses flexible workspaces.


Thanks to these policies, the company has been able to get rid of 2.7 million square feet of office space, giving the company savings of about $78 million per year (once you add utilities, housekeeping, mail service and document shredding). Not to mention a reduced carbon footprint.


Amazing stuff and I feel that it’s only getting better!


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