Just in time for National Stress Awareness Day, flexible recruitment agency Ten2Two looks at the link between stress and flexibility…

People who want to find flexible work are usually driven by several motivating factors. But one of the main reasons behind a desire for flexible work is the necessity to cut down on stress.

For working parents, this can be a matter of needing the space to have time with children or to deal with sickness or school demands more freely. The endless juggle of needing more time off for school holidays than annual leave allows for is never an easy one.

But for those in an unforgiving working environment where the pressures of maintaining business targets or being present in all aspects of a role – literally – means stress can easily mount up.

Greater employee wellbeing leads to better business

Even the government has been doing their homework into stress. Which should go some way to telling us that this is an important area for workplaces to be concerned with. Here are three revelations from the Health and Safety Executive’s 2017 report into workplace stress: 

  • Work-related stress led to 12.5 million working days being lost in 2016/2017.
  • The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work-related stress, depression or anxiety were workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support (2009/10-2011/12).
  • Medium to large businesses had statistically higher rates of work-related stress, anxiety and depression, compared with smaller companies.

Flexible working cuts stress – but it isn’t easy

Flexible working eases workplace stress – you just have to look at any article on the subject. If you can boost employee wellbeing, you’re well on the way to reducing absenteeism and improving the workplace as a whole.

But if employees constantly feel they’re looking over their shoulder, particularly those who need to leave work on time to collect children or who can’t attend after-work events that easily, nobody is going to feel happy about that.

Yet if you can find flexible work that utilises your skills in a working pattern that that works for you, you will unfortunately still be in a minority.

Deborah O’Sullivan, Managing Director at Ten2Two says, “Many flexible workers are still stressed as they try to fit five days’ work into four days or over compensate because they feel presenteeism is still king. Yet they’re prepared to go the extra mile, even at the cost of their health, to get that elusive flexibility. It shouldn’t have to be this way.”

Deborah adds, “As a flexible recruiter, the businesses we work with want local professionals at the top of their game, on a flexible basis. They understand modern day pressures and the need to offer work that’s flexible to help working parents and those who require a slightly different way of working.”

It’s an easy offer for businesses too, with lots of benefits. Yet many employers are still very set in their ways and can’t see how easy flexibility can actually be to implement, with the right working practices in place.

If you’d like to find out more about cutting stress and boosting employee wellbeing through your recruitment practices, please contact flexible recruiter Ten2Two today. Or, if you’re an employee seeking greater flexibility (and hopefully less stress!), please register on our website. We’d love to help with your flexible job search. Best of luck.



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