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Flexible working schemes explored | BUILDING MAGAZINE

Flexible working schemes explored

Consultants have been asked to develop flexible working schemes by Piling contractors.

The Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) has partnered with Timewise, a specialist flexible working consultancy, to create a programme which can help members develop flexible working schemes within their own companies.

The aim of the project is to develop ways to give flexibility to the working hours of not just office staff but also those working on site.

The initiative, which the FPS plans to launch in the summer, is designed to develop an understanding regarding the benefits and implementation methods for flexible working practices within FPS site operations, and the benefits they can bring to employees wellbeing without impacting productivity.

Steve Hadley, FPS chair, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has seen many of us working more flexibly and aspects of this type of working look set to continue, in hybrid form, as employers recognise the benefits flexible working brings to employees, such as more family times, less travel, improved wellbeing and all without detriment to the business”.

“Site working, unlike office based roles, however, has typically been excluded from such ‘flexible practices’ due to the demands and hours of work – real or perceived, and the FPS would like to explore ways this can be overcome to widen the benefits to all. The construction sector is already struggling to attract and retain staff as well as encourage a more diverse work force, with working hours and the lack of flexibility often cited as a prime reason”.

He added: “The flexible working initiative should help tackle the perceived difficulties surrounding flexible working and site work, and hopefully bring about a revolution in working practices for the good of everyone”.

Melissa Jamieson, Timewise chief executive, said: “We are delighted to partner with the FPS to deliver workshops and training on flexible working for its members. The FPS identified that the lack of flexible working in the industry has created structural barriers to attracting, retaining and progressing a more diverse workforce, specifically in terms of gender. Timewise specialises in tackling such barriers and supports employers to overcome them. Having worked on projects in nursing, retail and most recently construction with Build UK, we focus on industries and role types that are particularly hard to ‘flex’ within. We have run projects in all these areas which have led to a better work-life balance for employees. We look forward to exploring how to do that within the geotechnical industry.