Marks and Spencer expands flexible-working options

Marks and Spencer
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Retail organisation Marks and Spencer has launched an updated flexible work policy in order to provide more choice and flexibility for its store employees.

Known as Worklife, the changes have been designed to help its workforce achieve a better work-life balance, in order to attract the best talent in the industry.

From January 2023, more than 3,000 Marks and Spencer retail managers will have additional flexible working options available to choose from, such as spreading their hours over five days, working 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.

The decision to implement this followed a successful trial across 100 stores, with 75% of the participating retail managers stating that compressed hours had a positive impact on their family life.

The retailer also launched an approach to making flexible working easier for job sharing employees across stores and support centres, known as Job Share Finder. The platform enables staff to upload a biography and connect with potential job share matches.

According to the employer, this idea emerged from its International Women’s Day ‘Ideathon’ in March, and was inspired by those returning from maternity leave who wanted more flexibility.

Sarah Findlater, group HR director at Marks and Spencer, said: “We want M and S to be a great place to work and shop and that means having engaged colleagues with a good work-life balance. 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 has 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 and S.”