Given how easy it is to work remotely these days, it's a surprise to learn that many companies still don't offer flexible work environments. There are various reasons as to why this is, including a lack of investment in the right technology to enable flexible working, a lack of trust in their employees or even an assumption that employees need to be in the office at all times. 

Whatever the reason, not offering flexibility at work can have a major impact on your ability to hire, with more and more candidates expecting it. It forms a fundamental part of the company culture, which any potential employee will take in to consideration.  

Equally, there is a massive shortage of part-time work available, especially for highly-skilled Mums returning to work - again because old-school company policies make it difficult to hire part-time staff.

I've recently had conversations with several Directors of start-ups, who actively promote flexible working and all of them agreed that their employees tend to work longer and harder. Why? Simply because by offering flexibility, you create an environment in which staff feel valued and respected. One also made the point of saying he actually targets part-time staff, as they get things done more efficiently and are cheaper to hire.

Personally, I've worked at both ends of the spectrum - from having the expectation of being at my desk from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, to now having complete ownership of my own time and where I'm based. Needless to say, I'm happier at work and feel more productive than ever.

I'm interested to know, is flexible working available where you work? What do you think about companies that don't offer flexibility?