5 Reasons to Unlock Efficiency and Talent in Your Local Authority with Formalised Flexible Working 

As a senior public sector leader, you’re on the frontlines of serving your community. You know the importance of delivering top-notch services while managing tight budgets and a diverse workforce. In today’s competitive environment, attracting and retaining talented public servants is crucial, and that’s where embracing flexible working comes in. 

But simply saying “yes” to flexibility without structure can lead to operational headaches. Here’s why formalising your flexible working policies and systems can be a game-changer for your local authority: 

1. Boost Public Service Delivery with a Happy, Productive Workforce: 

Formal flexible and hybrid working policies show you’re a modern, adaptable employer, attracting top talent and keeping current employees engaged. This translates to better service delivery for citizens. A recent study by People Management Magazine found that 80% of employees consider an element of hybrid working is important to them. By offering flexibility, you’ll attract a wider pool of qualified candidates and empower your existing staff to work at their best, ultimately improving service quality and efficiency. 

2. Optimise Council Resources and Minimise Disruptions: 

Informal, ad-hoc flexible arrangements can create confusion and communication gaps. Clear policies and systems ensure everyone knows their schedules, workloads, and how to collaborate effectively, regardless of location. This reduces disruptions, minimises wasted time, and allows for better resource allocation across departments. Imagine streamlining council meetings with remote attendance options or optimising staffing levels based on peak usage times. 

3. Empower Your Team Leaders and Foster Cross-Departmental Collaboration: 

Formal systems like flexitime with core hours provide structure and a sense of normalcy, even in  a hybrid environment. Managers gain valuable tools to track time, delegate tasks, and measure individual and team performance. This empowers them to lead effectively and build strong, collaborative teams, even when physically apart. Imagine social workers offering flexible hours to accommodate client needs or planning officers collaborating seamlessly on complex projects from different locations. 

4. Stay Ahead of the Curve with New Legislation: 

The UK’s right to request flexible working from day one is coming soon. Having formal policies in place demonstrates your commitment to compliance and avoids potential legal issues. You’ll be prepared to handle requests efficiently and fairly, promoting a positive and compliant work culture within your local authority. 

5. Gain Valuable Data and Insights to Drive Continuous Improvement: 

Flexible working systems generate valuable data on employee work patterns, productivity levels, and resource utilisation. This data can be used to optimise council buildings, inform staffing decisions, and identify areas for improvement. Imagine using data to identify peak demand times at public services and adjust staffing accordingly, or analysing employee work patterns to improve efficiency and reduce burnout. 

Formalising your flexible working policies and systems isn’t just about HR, it’s about unlocking the full potential of your local authority. By attracting and retaining top talent, streamlining operations, empowering team leaders, staying compliant, and gaining valuable insights, you can deliver better services to your community while maximising efficiency and employee satisfaction. 

Remember, a happy and productive workforce is the bedrock of any thriving local authority. Embrace the flexibility revolution and watch your team and your community flourish!