Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the Staffnet siteSearch StaffNet
Search type

Flexible working and Inclusion

The demand for flexible working is increasing. It’s now not unusual for interview candidates to want information on opportunities for flexible working or to discussit at the interview stage. More organisations see the benefit of indicating their willingness to consider flexible working within the job advertisement. Clearly stating that you are prepared to talk flexible working can open up new talent pools who wouldn’t otherwise have applied. Only about 11% of roles are still advertised in this way, so it’s an opportunity to stand out as an employer.

Flexible working supports inclusion; it is a key enabler to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. Some people cannot work a traditional 9-5, Monday to Friday type working pattern, such as those with caring responsibilities or some disabilities. Flexible working can also help staff maintain a health work life balance.

Remember – flexible working doesn’t mean that the candidate wants to work fewer hours. They might want to work compressed hours (such as longer but fewer days), different start and finish times, or to work from home for one day per week.

Consider before advertising – how flexible is the role?


  • What are the operational requirements? Can the role be effectively fulfilledin a different working pattern?
  • How much of the role needs to be completed at a specific location or at a specific time?
  • What are the potential benefits to flexible working? What are the potential challenges?
  • Do you want to include information about flexible working on your advert –and if so, what sort of flexible working can you support?


It’s fine to discuss flexibility with candidates – you can ask them how they propose to manage the work within alternative working patterns.

We have a range of other resources on flexible working on Managers’ Essentials including how to undertake a trial period, how to manage a job share and how to assess a role for flexible suitability.