Gone are the days of the strict 9-5. Flexible working is becoming the norm, whether that’s adaptable hours or different locations. Best of all, it has a range of benefits for your employees, your company and even your customers.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of flexible working for accountants and how to introduce it in your company.
What is flexible working?
Put simply, flexible working is the introduction of a more flexible approach in your company. In most cases, this refers to the time and location of work. While traditionally, companies have required employees to be in the office at a certain time, they can now be working in another location, potentially whenever they want.
Most importantly of all, it’s on the rise. A survey by CIPD found that over half of UK employees (54%) worked flexibly in some way or another in 2018. The same survey found that the most prevalent types of flexible working are flexi-time, working from home and reduced hours. However, ‘informal flexibility’, such as leaving work a bit early for a doctor’s appointment, is also common.
While flexible working may have started in creative jobs like media and advertising, it’s now made its way over to more conservative sectors like accounting. In fact, a survey by the Smarter Working Initiative found that Finance is the third best sector when it comes to flexible working options for employees.
The benefits of flexible working
As you can imagine, there are myriad benefits of flexible working for employees. It gives them a better work-life balance, improves health and well-being and even has a positive impact on their relationships at work, according to CIPD. That’s paired with flexibility for their own interests, commitments and any unexpected emergencies.
However, this also has a positive knock-on effect for organisations. Having happier employees leads to better staff retention, improved engagement and loyalty, and has a positive influence on work performance. Employees are happier to go above and beyond for their employer and there’s even a better pull when it comes to recruitment.
Introducing flexible working
If your accountancy firm works on a 9-5 basis, strictly within the four walls of your office, flexible working may seem a world away. However, there are ways to make it easier to introduce…
1. Tracking hours
One of the biggest worries when it comes to flexible working is whether your employees will be putting in the hours required of them. With a set starting time across the board – and everyone working at the same office – it’s easy to spot when someone is late or not in.
With remote working or flexible hours, this seems trickier. However, it’s simply a case of getting the right tools in place. Introduce a clock-in and clock-out system if you’re happy for people to work flexible hours in the office.
Or, if they’re working remotely, you can even get software specifically for tracking employees’ hours. The Timely app automatically tracks active web and desktop time, mobile calls and GPS location to generate accurate timesheets for employees.
2. Desktop access
It’s no wonder that the technology sector leads the way for remote working opportunities. Technology is at the heart of remote working. Almost every profession that allows remote working is based on a computer in some way. That means, in many cases, companies can simply provide a laptop to employees or allow them to use their own device.
The problem is maintaining the same output on these devices. To work productively, employees need access to the same files, applications and software as they have on their work computer. They also need their work to be fully synchronised, so any changes at work or at home will be saved on all devices.
That’s where a hosted desktop can help. Rather than having to set up and synchronise multiple devices on each application or system, you can simply login to a hosted desktop from any device you choose, which will have everything you need ready to go.
Hosted desktop for accountants
A hosted desktop can make it much easier to introduce flexible working at your accountancy firm, improving employee morale and boosting productivity. Green Cloud Hosting helps make the whole experience seamless, with hosted desktop solutions for accountants.
We can host all your most important software like Sage and Iris, alongside crucial apps like Microsoft Office. All with the speed, security and scalability of the cloud. For more information, get in touch with our team on 0161 979 0691.