Marks and Spencer Expands Flexible Working For Retail Staff

British retail consortium, Marks & Spencer, have just released an updated flexible working policy, which provides more choices and options for its store staff. 

Marks and Spencer has identified the need to attract the best talent, and have designed a new way of working, titled Worklife, which focuses on an employees work-life balance.

Launching in January 2023, M&S will allow its 3,000 retail staff additional flexible working options, such as working a four-day compressed week, spreading their hours over five days, or a nine-day compressed fortnight. To drive additional inclusivity, part-time managers will also be able to access their own pro-rated version of the compressed ways of working on offer. 

The retail giant initially tested this across 100 stores, with 75% of retail managers stating that compressed hours had a positive impact on their family life. Alongside their new approach, M&S have also implemented a new internal tool to help retail and support centre staff with job sharing. Their new platform, Job Share Finder, enabled staff to upload a biography and connect with potential matches. 

According to the employer, the ‘Job Share Finder’ emerged from its International Women’s Day ‘Ideathon’ in March, and was inspired by those returning mothers who wanted more flexibility. 

Sarah Findlater, group HR director at Marks and Spencer, said: “We want M&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 game changer 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.” 

How To Use WorkYourWay To Find Your Ideal Flexible Job

Simply put, flexible work isn’t one size fits-all. When an individual searches for a flexible job, they need to be able to combine multiple ways of working into one search. That’s why we developed WorkYourWay, to allow candidates to find a role that fits your needs and requirements. 

Built for today’s job market, WorkYourWay utilises a unique flexible working framework of four key components: working patterns, workload, workplace and life events. Our four different sub-groups refer to different aspects of your working life – these generally differ for every individual: 

  1. Working Patterns: these refer to how your contractual hours are split across the days of your working week. For example, patterns include part-time, term-time, annualised hours, flexi-time & more.
  2. Workload: the amount of work assigned to you or expected in a specified time period. For example an organisation may offer you job sharing, reduced hours or commissioned outcomes.
  3. Workplace: the location where you work for your employer. There are four core workplace options: hybrid working (office / home), remote or mobile working, work from home (WFH) and office-working.
  4. Life Event: this usually refers to a significant event in your life, which can include events such as shared parental leave and career breaks / sabbaticals.

So, how do you find your perfect job on WorkYourWay using these groups? Candidates have the option to combine up to 23 different ways of working, across these four key groups; for a full list of these, head to our definitions.

Here’s how to search using WorkYourWay: 

To ensure we match you with the correct roles, insert your preferred title / keyword, location, job function, along with your desired flexibility across working patterns, workload, workplace and life-events. We’ve analysed 1,000’s of job searches and discovered candidates combine on average 3-5 different ways of working to find their ideal job. Here’s some examples of what you can search for: 

  • Full-time + Flexi-time + Compressed Hours + Remote Working
  • Part-time + Flexi-time + Office Working
  • Full-time + Hybrid Working + Career Breaks & Sabbaticals
  • Part-time + Phased Retirement + Work From Home
  • Full-time + Remote Working + Shared Parental Leave

Once you’ve added all your options, start filtering through our job listings; keep an eye out for our ‘match rate’, which indicates how relevant each job is to your search criteria. We also include additional information on each job to help you with your search. These include: 

  • Core Hours: some roles may specify core hours that you are required to work. That doesn’t mean they can’t offer flexible hours, but it’s worth keeping an eye out. 
  • Hybrid Working: all our roles list out the number of days you get to work at home vs. the office if the job is listed as hybrid. Some may offer 1-2 days, others 3-4 days every week. 
  • Key Skills: at the top of every job description, we have several key skills listed out. Do you match with them? If so, make sure they’re also on your profile to help with additional matching. 
  • Flexibility: towards the bottom of every job description, you’ll find the flexible working options across working patterns, workload, workplace and life-events. 

Once you’ve found your ideal role, you can either ‘Add to wish list’, or simply go ahead and apply. If you have any additional questions, or need some more information on our flexible working options, please contact us.