I had the pleasure of delivering a short presentation at a Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce networking event this morning (hosted by Heritage England at the beautiful Wrest Park – which was an added bonus), about the benefits of part-time and agile working.

On stating the obvious – that we are no longer a desk-based working environment and a reminder that in the 80’s we all went to the office. It was about presenteeism and being seen at your desk for 37.5 hours a week was a given, email wasn’t a word and the world wide web wasn’t a “thing”. Candidates had set expectations of the recruitment process, you applied for a job, you knew where you had to work and that it was pretty much 9-5.

But we are no longer in that environment as our world has dramatically changed, technology allows cross borders / international / mobile lifestyles, we are more 24/7 than ever before and that is not going to change. But employee’s expectations are different in life too, particularly in allowing careers to continue after children and for those that are not able or wanting to retire at 65 – and why should they when they have up to 40 years plus of valuable work experience which still can make a difference to a business.

The subject of flexible and part time working resonated with many of the audience, who had experienced barriers and closed doors or little to no opportunities to return to work part time into their professional field, leaving them feeling let down and in many cases forgotten – and we hear this over and over again, but what is positive is that things are changing, perhaps not quick enough, but the fact that business attitudes are moving in the right direction by recognising part-time and flexible working not only makes good ‘people’ sense, but that it also makes good business sense and this can only be a good thing.

Offering flexible working attracts people with greater skills than you thought you could afford, so with candidate shortages being reported across the nation, tap into this pool of talent and you will be surprised at how a part time professional will help your business grow. We can prove it.

Carol-Anne

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