Flexibility Works offers resources and practical advice to employers.
Scottish businesses struggling with the practicalities of flexible working are being offered support from a new social enterprise.
Flexibility Works will help organisations improve all aspects of flexible working, supporting employers of all sizes and in all sectors across Scotland.
With thousands of office staff currently working from home, the organisation’s first major project will be to support businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the longer term, Flexible Works will engage with Scottish organisations to increase all kinds of flexibility at work, not just remote working.
Director and co-founder Nikki Slowey said: "The demand for flexible working is growing rapidly and organisations that have created a flexible working culture are seeing the benefits. Flexible working also has a key role to play in tackling a number of societal issues such as poverty, wellbeing and inequality.
“Yet we know some organisations struggle to put great flexible working into practice. That’s why we’ve launched Flexibility Works, so more people and more employers in Scotland can benefit from flexible working.
“The coronavirus pandemic has created enforced home-working for many organisations that weren’t anticipating, or ready for such a shift. It’s no surprise that businesses and employees are struggling to adapt quickly to this changing environment.
“Our first task is to support employers, giving practical advice for the unique situation we’re in right now, and helping share best practice from other organisations on how they’re coping. That way, more employers will be able to support their workers, as well as their businesses.”
A 2019 survey found that 87% of Scottish business leaders who already offer flexible working say it has had a positive impact on their business. Research has shown that flexible working increases productivity and staff retention as well as reducing absence from sickness.
Business minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Flexible working is vital to the Scottish Government’s ambition to encourage agile and inclusive workplaces which benefit all employees. It helps tackle the gender pay gap and ultimately benefits our economy and society as a whole.
“The ability to work flexibly is more important than ever as working practices change to tackle coronavirus. That’s why we, together with the Hunter Foundation through our Social Innovation Partnership, are supporting Flexibility Works with £175,000 to offer vital advice and support to businesses in this time of crisis.
“This new initiative will support organisations to continue to operate and adapt to the changed circumstances. Not only will this help them face up to the challenges of the pandemic, it will also create lasting benefits for employers and their staff.”
More information and free resources can be found on the Flexibility Works website.