Tips on being a flexible boss & how it helps your business

Date: 4th March 2016

Employees and employers both increasingly want to work in an environment that offers them the flexibility to create a balance between work and other life commitments. Family, study, cultural commitments and transition to retirement are among the many reasons people may look for this flexibility. It’s all about work-lifestyle balance, right?

working from home

Happy employees = better productivity = better business

As an employer it makes sense to consider requests from employees for more flexibility. Employees with the best work/life balance are more likely to work harder, faster and stay with you longer. You may also find offering flexible working is more attractive to job seekers, too.

Types of flexible work arrangements

There are many different flexible work arrangements. These are some of the most common.

Reduced or increased hours

It’s up to you and your employee to agree on the number of hours they need to work to complete the job. They might ask to reduce their hours, and you might agree that they could still get their job done in less time. The resulting reduction in wage costs may have a positive impact on the business.

If an employee requests extra hours for extra pay, and you know there’s enough extra work for them to do and don’t think it will negatively impact their performance, you could increase their hours.

Flexible hours

You can give your employees a range of hours to work within, and they can choose the actual hours they work. For example, you could say work hours are anytime between 7am and 7pm, and your employees just need to complete eight hours of work between those hours.


In a job share, two people share the tasks and responsibilities of a full-time position. They are both employees, and need separate employment agreements. Each person works part-time, and is paid and entitled to leave according to their work pattern.

Working remotely

If technology and job type allow, you could allow employees to work from home or another location. This could be for an agreed number of days each week or month, or whenever they want to.

Paid study leave

If an employee’s studying towards a qualification that relates to their job, you can agree to let them spend some of their work time each week studying, instead of carrying out their usual tasks.

Responding to a request

Any employee can ask to work flexible hours. As a business owner, you must respond to a written request within a month of getting it. When you get a request to work flexibly, think about how it could affect your business. You may need several discussions with your worker to find an arrangement that suits both of you.

There are valid reasons to turn down a flexible working request, including that it may adversely affect other staff or your business.

More about approving or declining a request for flexible work arrangments: Emloyment NZ Flexible Work Guide.

You can always give it a go on a trial basis. If it’s not working, be honest but be open to alternative solutions.

‘Get & Keep Great Staff’ Workshop

If you want to learn how flexible and diverse employment can help your business consider this free workshop coming to Christchurch 21 March 2016. The workshop has practical tools, tips and experiences to help you attract and retain the best workers using flexibility and diversity.

Where: Canterbury Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Wharekai, 130 Madras Street, Christchurch Central

When: 5.30-7.00pm, 21 March 2016.

For more information, or to register go to Eventbrite.

More information and related topics

Employment NZ – Flexible Work Arrangments

Improving work-lifestyle balance

Working remotely off the grid

Posted in: Alexandra, Christchurch, Latest News, Queenstown, Wanaka