The Importance of Flexible Working for Carers

With a new generation of employees now hitting the workforce, the traditional way of running businesses has changed.

One example is with working hours. Flexible working was introduced as a way to encourage a healthy work-life balance.

Over the last few years, the number of people working in part-time employment has increased. As well as those returning from starting a family and the effects of the gig economy, it’s also due to those struggling to maintain a healthy balance between their work and personal lives.

For those working in care, a flexible working arrangement may mean staff taking less time off for carers leave.

In this piece, we’ll define flexible working and the rules surrounding it. We’ll also explore the importance of this type of work for carers.

What is flexible working?

It’s a work pattern adapted to suit both you and your employees. There are different types of flexible working arrangements, examples include:

  • Changing to part-time hours.
  • Changing working days.
  • Changing full-time working hours.
  • Working your normal weekly hours in fewer days (compressed hours).
  • Working from home part or fulltime (homeworking).
  • Retain two people for the same position on a part-time basis (job sharing).
  • Work usually rotating but specified hours (shift working).
  • Using technological advances to work from remote locations (teleworking).
  • Calculating working hours based on annually instead of weekly (annualised hours).

Unlike the United Kingdom, there’s no legal right to flexible working. However, since the introduction of the Code of Practice on Access to Part-time Work in 2006, it’s now become a best practice for employers have policies on improving access to part-time work.

Employees can make requests for flexible working. As an employer, you should have a procedure in place that allows for a discussion between yourself and the employee before making a decision. Remember to consider:

  • The employee’s personal needs.
  • The staffing needs for the company.
  • The implications to the business and their co-workers.

To avoid claims of discrimination, you must consider all request for flexible working fairly and in accordance with the employment equality legislation.

The importance of flexible working for carers

Accommodating flexible working requests can be a challenge especially for those in the care sector.

The work itself is one that can do with allowances for flexible working. It involves rotating working hours, usually long travel times and unsociable hours.

However, from the point of view of the employer, it may be tricky, as you’ll need to ensure there’s sufficient staff to cover at all times.

And there are benefits for employers and employees.

For employers

  • Boost employee morale.
  • Reduce absenteeism.
  • Reduce employee turnover.
  • Improve wellbeing.
  • Enhance company image as a family-friendly employer.
  • Increase productivity.

For employees

  • Better work/life balance to meet personal and family needs.
  • Less stress.
  • Increased job satisfaction.
  • Reduced expenses and time spent commuting.
  • More control over working hours and environment.

Final note Remember, while it may be a challenge to create a flexible working policy, the rewards are well worth it. As well as easing your staff’s work/life balance, you can also reduce business costs, improve output and ensure the loyalty of your staff.

Banish Interviews Nerves and Bag Yourself That Job!

Tips for that all important interview!

Interview Nerves?

Don’t sweat it. Here are some tips to get you prepared!

You have gotten that e-mail you have been waiting for and have been called for an interview. You have oodles of experience and know you would be terrific for the job but are worried about interview nerves kicking in. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most people dread the thoughts of interviews but if you prepare for them in advance and have the right attitude then they can be a LOT less daunting.

Try to remember that you are not alone. People attend interviews every day! It is a normal process of career life. Not only are employees nervous about their performance in interviews, employers can be too. For instance, let’s say that you applied for your dream job and are attending an important interview for an important company, chances are, the employer is under pressure too and feeling nervous about carrying out a professional interview.

Sell yourself. Know yourself, your personality, strengths, skills and experience. Understand why you are suited to the job and how you could benefit the company. If you are having trouble, take the time to sit down with a family member or a friend and ask them to help you clarify your personality or strengths. Once you have these nailed and prepared, you will be more confident in an interview situation.

Research. Research the company! Nobody wants to be asked a question about the company by their interviewer and not know the answer. It looks lazy, unprofessional and makes the interviewee look disinterested. Become familiar with what they do, who works there and be comfortable with their ethos and aims.

Prepare. Preparation is KEY for interview scenarios. Know your CV and prepare for any questions the interviewer may ask about your CV, such as education or previous work experience related to the job in question. You want the conversation to flows naturally and you don’t want to get tongue-tied! Think outside the box!!! Look up questions that interviewers may ask that are used to catch candidates off guard to test their creative abilities.

Act Confident. If you are not naturally confident make the interviewer think that you are. Shaking hands, making eye contact, sitting up straight and smiling are all positive forms of body language that will go a long way in an interview process. Staring and serial-killing smiling is not necessary! Just relax and be yourself! You are in the hot seat because your interviewer thinks that you are suited for the job.

Control yourself. Try to remember to take deep breaths and don’t rush, your heart might be racing but try to not speak too quickly. Remember that it is normal to feel nervous and some nerves are good!

Ask questions. It is important for the interviewee to ask questions and be interested in the answers that they receive. The interviewer will see that you are genuine, keen and passionate about the job.

Listen. A million thoughts might be running through your head or you might be mentally skipping ahead to your next thought out answer but listen to your interviewer. Information about the role might be discussed in the interview that might not have been specified in the job advertisement.

Remember: Even if the interview does not go to plan, it is over and done with, it is a learning curve and an experience and there are plenty of other opportunities out there.