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5 Businesses boosted by flexible working

When it comes to maintaining a model for the working day and week, many companies still stubbornly stick to nine to five, Monday to Friday.

But this working pattern is a relic of the industrial revolution – when we developed factory machines which could operate around the clock, managers calculated that the optimal shift duration for human supervisors was eight hours.

However, increasing numbers of organisations are embracing the opportunities tech offers to allow staff to work where and when they want, which can enhance job satisfaction and restore life/work balance without jeopardizing productivity.

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Here are five businesses boosted by flexible working.


With trailblazer Richard Branson at the helm, it seems natural that travel empire Virgin champions smart working.

Employees enjoy benefits like unlimited leave, working from home and integrated technology, which boss Branson believes helps him to retain top talent and maintain first-class customer service.

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Amazon is nothing if not efficient – it’s the hallmark of its online offering.

And remote working is a key part of its renowned customer service provision, as evidenced by a recent recruitment drive to hire 3000 home workers across 18 US states. If this type of role sounds attractive, check out their virtual locations careers page.

Perpetual Guardian

New Zealand finance firm Perpetual Guardian has been dispensing savvy advice since 1882, but that doesn’t mean it’s behind the times in terms of progressive working policies.

It recently adopted a four day working week after a successful trial revealed that cutting hours while maintaining salaries sent employee fulfilment through the roof and increased productivity – seems like this Kiwi company has it all sussed out.

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Advice Direct Scotland (ADS)

Scottish charity ADS is proving that a four day week can work for the third sector too.

Its 68 staff members working across two call centres have had their working hours cut by a day, with their wages maintained at the same level. It’s hoped the move will increase productivity and decrease absenteeism and presenteeism – where stressed-out workers are present in body but not in mind.

Ormiston Wire

The last entrant on our forward-looking list has a history that stretches back even further than Perpetual Guardian.

Ormiston Wire was established in 1793 and implemented a 4.5 day working week more than 30 years ago, when bosses noticed that workers paid their wages on Friday morning tended to celebrate with a lunchtime drink or two and returned slightly the worse for wear. The early Friday finish is still retained and these days it allows employees to get a flying start on their commute and cope with childcare duties.

It’s evident that a wide range of diverse organisations recognise that allowing employees to work from home, fit hours around their family commitments and take leave when they like makes them happier and more engaged.

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Perhaps these 5 firms boosted by flexible working can set an example for your company to follow?

That’s our list! Please share your thoughts on flexible working in the comments section.