High street retailer Marks & Spencer has launched a new flexible working offering to provide more choice and flexibility for its store employees to offer “a better work/life balance”.
From January 2023, M&S ‘Worklife’ will offer more than 3,000 retail managers additional flexible working options to choose from. As well as opting for either full-time or part-time hours, managers will be able to spread their hours over five days or to work a four-day compressed week or nine-day compressed fortnight. Part-time managers will also be able to access their own pro-rated version of the compressed ways of working on offer.
This follows a "successful" trial across 100 M&S stores, with 75 percent of the retail managers participating agreeing that compressed hours have had a positive impact on their family life.
In addition, M&S is also launching a Job Share Finder, a new approach to making flexible working easier for those colleagues able to job share. The platform enables colleagues across stores and support centres to upload a bio and connect with potential job share matches. The idea originated from colleagues at M&S’ International Women’s Day Ideathon in March earlier this year, inspired by those returning from maternity leave and wanting more flexibility.
Sarah Findlater, group HR director at M&S, said in a statement: “We want M&S to be a great place to work and shop – that means having engaged colleagues with a good work-life balance. Retail is a fast-paced industry but that shouldn’t mean missing out on the moments that matter. Whether caring commitments, the chance to get involved in your local community or to prioritise your own mental and physical wellbeing.
“We’ve listened to colleagues and are determined to create a cultural shift to flexible working across our stores. Those retail managers taking part in our compressed hours trial agree it’s been a gamechanger by giving them more choice and autonomy. We’re also always keen to put colleague ideas into action like our new Job Share Finder and are determined to keep exploring ideas that transform the way we work at M&S.”