The benefits of flexible working

How flexible working helps build an inclusive and effective workplace


The benefits of remote working and the tech that can help you thrive at home

In 2015, author and presenter Anna Whitehouse launched her ‘Flex Appeal’ campaign, aiming to change the way people work across businesses. Her initial aim was to boost conditions for women—“As women, as mothers… we are still being held back by an inflexible work model that was born from the industrial revolution,” she said in March 2023—but flexible working helps all of us.

Whitehouse’s campaign led to concrete action: the Flexible Working Bill is due to become law in the UK. It requires employers to consider and discuss any requests by employees for flexible working, from where they work to when they do their hours. We’ve pulled together examples of the benefits to companies and their personnel alike, along with the tech needs to make remote workers thrive.

Flexible working is good for business


Flexible working is about your job adapting to your needs. Maybe Ramadan is approaching, and you want to shape your working hours around fasting—or perhaps the demands of family life require you to be at home to care for a loved one.

Whatever your situation, asking for work to fit around your unique needs shouldn’t be something we shy away from. With increasingly powerful and reliable broadband enabling equally effective remote work away from the office, many employers say yes.

The 2023 ‘Good Work’ study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 49% of employees sometimes work at home, while 37% are using flexitime, choosing when to start and end their working day.

Importantly, companies benefit as well as employees. “Flexible workers have a higher level of job satisfaction, commitment and are more likely to increase discretionary effort compared to those who do not work flexibly,” claims the CIPD.

“Flexible working can also reduce absence rates and allows employees to manage disability and long-term health conditions, as well as supporting their mental health and stress.”


Flexible working can allow employees to better manage their non-work commitments 

Flexible working is good for challenging WFH environments


Four in 10 parents expect to have to take unpaid leave during summer to manage childcare to ensure they can be home when needed without leaving their employer in the lurch. But while 67% of working parents in the UK believe flexible work could help them progress while fulfilling their family responsibilities, it’s important to acknowledge working from home can still present challenges—especially for busy households. Nothing kills a Zoom call like a child playing Roblox on one device while watching YouTube on another.

To combat these bandwidth battles, EE Broadband’s ‘Work Mode’ has been cleverly designed to prioritise work apps like Zoom and Teams over recreational activity like gaming. The kids can still play, but that won’t mean game over for your important video call with the boss.


EE broadband's 'work mode' can prioritise work apps over children's games

Flexible working is good for a healthy and mindful workforce


Perhaps most importantly, flexible working is a boon for the health and happiness of a diverse and inclusive workforce. Whether you are living with mental health conditions, physical disabilities or simply trying to create space in your daily life for exercise, meditation or—dare we say it—your non-work interests such as a side hustle.

“People need breaks, we’re not robots, and it’s okay to take.a break. Taking a break does not mean you are not good enough. Taking a break does not mean you are bad at your job,” said campaigner and podcaster Tiwalola Ogunlesi in 2021.

Hybrid, home and flexible working all help us to deliver our best at work, while maximising our chances of attaining a positive work-life balance. And treating our colleagues with acceptance and understanding will help them to deliver their best too.


Flexible working allows people to take breaks and look after their mental health 

Flexible working helps build workforce diversity


The benefits of a diverse workforce are clear. In the simplest terms, a wide range of backgrounds and experiences brings the broadest and most creative ideas. However, to be truly inclusive, companies need to dedicate resource and funding to them to ensure all demographics and identities are happy and catered to at work.

One way many forward-thinking companies are doing this (including EE) is through flexible bank holidays: a brilliant initiative that empowers employees to choose when these days are taken. When half of the UK’s eight annual bank holidays are based on the Christian calendar, it’s easy to understand its significance. Whether it helps staff to practise their faith or avoid peak holiday prices, respecting the breadth of individual preference matters. This is in addition to a range of flexible working options, including job sharing, swap shift options, flexi time, and many more.

To further guide policies like this, EE also has multiple interest groups and partner charities. This simple but important step that ensures all perspectives are heard—from sexuality and race to faith, gender and other aspects of life worth our care and consideration.

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