Top 3 health benefits of flexible working
Flexible working is for people who want to improve their quality of life, and have a successful career.
16th Mar 2021
Find out why a flexible job is good for your health, and why working flexible hours promotes wellbeing.
Sharing time between working from home and the office is proving to have significant, positive effects on health. Lockdown has helped many companies realise that employees at all levels can work just as productively when given a flexible working schedule, and we have seen a surge in flexible jobs being advertised by forward-thinking employers that realise flexible working is the future for their workforce.
So what is flexible working?
Your ideal career might be working 3 days in the office and 2 days at home (currently the most popular option for flexible working). Or you might want a remote job where you work from home full time. Compressed hours are another type of flexible working option, where you choose to work longer days in return for a three-day weekend. Whatever your preference for flexible working, planning a work schedule that suits your life and family will benefit your health.
Flexible working is not just for parents
Most professionals of any age and status would like their employers to offer flexible working, so everyone has the freedom to find a work-life balance. Flexible working isn’t just for parents that need to pick up their children from school (although that’s important). There are many personal reasons for working flexible hours or working from home – anything from walking the dog, to having a medical condition, or simply wanting more freedom to work flexibly when and where you choose.
The top 3 health benefits of flexible working:
1) Flexible working = time to BREATHE
It may seem obvious that working from home for two days a week saves four journeys to/from work. But think about what that flexible working schedule really means for a moment – about the control and time you win back. During your saved travel time, you have the freedom to focus on what is important in your personal life - you could go for a jog in the park, take the dog for a walk, enjoy the luxury of an extra hour in bed, do the school run, or take time preparing a healthy meal. Working from home with a flexible job also saves travel money and there’s no stress about traffic or arriving late to the office.
2) Working from home = healthier diet + regular exercise
Employees in a flexible job who spend part of their week working from home are more likely to eat a proper breakfast as they don’t have to commute to work. They might also prepare a nutritious lunch more often, instead of wolfing down a shop-bought sandwich or ready meal at the office. When working from home, you tend to eat healthier snacks – for example, chop up a fruit salad or blend a fresh smoothie, rather than grabbing a quick-fix chocolate bar or packet of crisps at the office. A flexible working schedule also means you’re more likely to make time for regular aerobic exercise. Feeling good about yourself due to healthy diet and exercise positively affects your work output. Your employer will benefit from offering flexible working too, because eating healthily and exercising regularly is proven to increase energy, concentration and productivity.
3) Flexible working = reduced stress + increased happiness
Working from home can significantly benefit mental and physical wellbeing when you create boundaries between work time and personal time. Knowing you have an afternoon off mid-week, or that you’re working from home for two days allows you time to reboot and feel a sense of balance. When a workforce is given more control over their working schedule, they in turn feel more in control of their personal lives. Working flexible hours and being able to take care of your own needs like doctor’s appointments, regular exercise, school runs, dog walks, housework etc are really important factors in reducing stress and increasing happiness. Flexible working professionals that have achieved work-life balance tend to be more productive, have greater greater job satisfaction and are more likely to stay with their company long term.