How Flexible Working Supports With Health And Wellbeing

Written by Flexified company, Austin International.

20th Mar 2023

We know what you’re thinking… “How can sitting in front of a computer all day be good for my health?” 

When people think of “flexible working” - that’s probably the first image that comes to mind. Someone sat at home, with a nice top but likely matched with their pyjama bottoms - standard! But flexible working is more than just being parked in front of your computer in your comfies. It’s about having the power to create a schedule that works for you and your body. And trust us - your body will thank you for it!

So let’s explore the benefits of flexible working on your health and fitness.

Less commuting means more time

First of all, let's talk about the commute. The average American spends 225 hours a year commuting to work. That's like spending an entire week of your life sitting in traffic or squished on a crowded train. With flexible working, you get extra time to do things that actually benefit your physical wellness, like taking a walk or cycling to your local coffee shop.

“Having 100% flexibility had a huge positive impact on my mental & physical health. In the past I’d spend my mornings commuting to the office - now I go for walks in the forest. I’d spend my lunch breaks eating a quick meal at my desk - now I use my breaks for yoga sessions. In the evenings I have an extra hour or two to cook / meal prep AND enjoy the process! I could never go back to the usual 9-5 and being in the office everyday.” - Goda, Talent Advocate, Germany.

More time for nutritious meals 

Unless you’ve got the ultimate willpower, then saying no to those delicious doughnuts or chocolate in the vending machine can be tough! When you’re in the office, sometimes the easiest option for lunch is to grab something quick and easy from the shop. Even if you do decide to sort your lunch in advance, say the night before, the preparation time is still eating (no pun intended) into your personal time. But jobs with a flexible schedule give you the power to prepare healthy meals and snacks at home. This means you can design your work life around your health and eating habits. So if you need an hour extra in the kitchen or some time to pop to the shop, you can do so without worrying about work. By prioritising nutrition, you no longer have to rely on fast food or takeout because you're too tired or busy to cook. With a little planning, you can create delicious and healthy meals that will nourish your body.

“Having flexibility certainly has a positive impact on my health. I am able to, and enjoy, preparing healthy lunches to bring into the office and also having the freedom to cook something nutritious when I work from home. When I am in the office I enjoy walking to the station, a manageable 20 min walk, starting the day with steps and fresh air. Days when I work from home I am able to enjoy gym sessions, classes or early morning walks. I find that exercise in the morning energises me for the day - I often try and hit my 10,000 steps before I have even made it into the office!” Elif, Associate Consultant, UK.

More time to work out

For many of us, hitting the gym before or after work is just not feasible. We're either too tired in the morning or too exhausted by the end of the day, not to mention other commitments like child care! With flexible working, you can prioritise your health and fitness goals without sacrificing your career. Not only will exercise help you stay physically fit and mentally sharp, but it can also boost your productivity and creativity at work! 

“I used to do sports and cooking after work. This was feasible but unfortunately accompanied by at least 1 of the 3 following things: gym too full, body too tired and too late for grocery shopping and/or cooking. As I no longer work the standard 9-5, I am able to do sports at a time that suits me. The flexibility and freedom that AI gives me every day, makes my body and mind more "healthy" and life less stressful. I can complete tasks (work-related and privately) in a way and at a time I am most productive.” - Robin, Recruitment Consultant, Germany.

"The flexibility here at Austin Fraser allows me to put my health and fitness first. Our office has an incredible gym that's usually almost empty, and on the days where I work from home, I'm able to squeeze a workout in before the 9-5 crowd fills up the gym nearby, either on an extended lunch or pushing my work schedule later in the day to hit the gym now. Feeling great with good physical fitness allows me to feel and do even greater things in my work at Austin Fraser." - Mikey, Associate Recruiter, US.

Take a break… 

And no, we don’t mean stuff your face with kitkats!

Let's not forget about the mental health benefits of flexible working. Taking breaks throughout the day to move your body and clear your mind can actually help you be more productive and focused when you do sit down to work. Plus, exercise is a great stress reliever! So, by incorporating exercise into your workday, you're not only supporting your physical wellness, but your mental health as well.

"Having flexibility in the workplace has really helped me find work-life balance and improved many aspects of my daily life, including prioritising my physical and mental health. I'm now able to squeeze in a gym session (or a doctor's appointment) without giving up on my lunch break, going for a morning walk or sleeping in a little longer when I don't feel rested enough, and gain productivity because I'm able to plan my day way better! Flexibility to me means more time to prioritise my health and wellbeing, which in turn allows me to work at 110%!" - Chiara, Associate Recruiter, UK.

So there you have it - the many ways that flexible working can benefit your health and fitness. Remember, it's not just about sitting in front of a computer all day - it's about creating a schedule that works for you and your body.

Here at Austin International, we encourage our people to create a schedule that works for them. They have full control over their career, meaning they get to choose where and when they work most productively.