The Hotel Industry is moving towards flexible working

The hotel industry, with its huge variety of job roles and its 24-hour way of life, is leading the pack when it comes to implementing flexible working practices (FWPs). 

The traditional shift pattern is fundamental to the operation of the hospitality industry, with shift-swapping almost a way of life with employees. Other working practices include part-time hours, banked hours, time off in lieu, term working, flex time and annualized hours.

But there are new patterns emerging. Career breaks, secondments and sabbaticals are all being embraced, while requests for paternity leave have also soared in recent years, a figure set to increase further if the government brings in plans entitling new fathers to take up to six months of paid paternity leave.

Women remain the group most likely to request a flexible working pattern. On average, 62% of requests for flexible hours come from women seeking to fit work around their childcare arrangements after maternity leave.

Caterer.com’s report shows that an incredible 40% of hotel employers say the number of people requesting the right to work flexibly has gone up in the last three years.

Given this remarkable increase in the number of people requesting flexible hours, how should an employer respond to the growing need for more accommodating work models that don’t interfere with the smooth running of their operation, and how should you — as the employee — approach this?

Flexible working: who benefits?

Many hotels encourage flexible working as a way of retaining staff. After all, no company would want to lose you if you’re, say, a valued manager who knows the business and the brand inside out, just because you wanted to work a slightly different pattern, would they?

Other factors that drive the movement towards implementing flexible working are employee motivation and loyalty, which, when combined with retention, can lead to measurable savings in business recruitment costs.

At Caterer.com’s recent breakfast briefing in London to present the findings of its survey, representatives from the hotel industry gathered together to hear from a pioneer in implementing FWPs — Lorna Bryson, HR manager at Tesco. Both the hotel industry and Tesco work on a 24-hour timetable, so their best practices are easily interchangeable.

Lorna takes a proactive rather than reactive approach to flexible working, by supporting employee attendance rather than managing absence. Her “just ask” campaign was born out of a realisation that staff were taking sick days for reasons other than illness — like religious holidays, study or childcare.

By reassuring staff that it was OK to “just ask” for time off, which they can make up later, Tesco has seen its absence rate drop dramatically from 7% to 4% in the space of just one year.

The challenges faced by employers

Many companies offer a formal policy available to all staff, while others operate a more informal setup, addressing each case individually. However, the impact on operations is still a key factor for companies that feel unable to accommodate flexible working practices, so you should consider this when you put in a request.

If flexible working is to be a success in any business, employers first need to adopt a flexible attitude themselves, although the motto of “Let’s try it, and if it doesn’t work, try something else” needs to be carefully considered.

Above all, an employer needs to communicate a positive mesage to its workforce. After all, it stands to reap the benefits many times over.

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Hospitality Recruitment agency – your friend

    Marcel was a wonderful help in this process. He reached out to me with impeccable timing on my side and guided me through what is usually an arduous task of looking and searching for the next step. Thanks to Marcel, I didn't have that anxiety that usually comes with looking for a new job. He provided me with all the help I needed and guided me along the way with advice about the company as well as how best to present myself. Never once did I feel pressured or uneasy. Marcel was truly helpful and I'm grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him. Mahalo, Samantha "I'm grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him."
  • Let Your Personal Career Coach help you FOR FREE

    I wanted to reach out and tell you about Chris Giles. Since the moment he started working with me to find the right job Chris has given me 100% support in helping me find a job. Out of all the recruiters I have worked with Chris is the only one who would reach out to me every couple of weeks to update me on what he has coming in or if he didn’t have anything at the moment.He has kept me in the loop since the beginning. This shows me how much he cares about his job and his clients. I couldn’t have asked for a better recruiter from your company. Thank you Chris for helping me find the right job. I was loosing hope but you restored it. Thank you Justin Brown "I was loosing hope but you restored it. "
  • Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment Worked for me!

    Thank you for the opportunity to express my satisfaction with Chris Jones.  Chris was very professional from the very beginning and always kept me updated on the progress with the company. It was a very stress free process, and I truly recommend Chris to anyone in need of a new career. Thank you Chris you are awesome!!   please use this as you see fit   sincerely, Chris Lodes Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment Worked for me!
  • Let Your Personal Career Coach help you FOR FREE

    Vicki Gladson is always prompt, professional and honest.  This is my second time using Patrice and Associates as a recruiting agency.  I have developed a rapport with Vicki and I have confidence in her abilities to find the right job opportunity for me.  As my career goals have taken a different direction, Vicki was there to help navigate me through process of finding a great job with the upward advancement opportunities.

    Thank you Vicki, Charla Hospitality Recruiting at it's finest!
  • Career Coaches that help you for FREE I really enjoyed working with David Israel, he was very friendly and professional throughout the process of my new job opportunity. David was always following up and helping me prepare for each interviews, for example, sharing specific interview questions, providing valuable points of view, and encouraging me to do research for the company I was applying for. He was fully committed in my future that I felt I was his only client. If you are looking for someone to help you go the next level in your career, I highly recommend David Israel to be the guy to help in your journey. Juan Perez Career Coaches can help you for FREE