Small business: Flexible working

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Lawyer Bridget Smith, partner, Swarbrick Beck Mackinnon.
Lawyer Bridget Smith, partner, Swarbrick Beck Mackinnon.

The recurring advice in this week's columns on flexible working is it works well when each party benefits and communication and trust are key. And there are plenty of inspiring stories to show how giving your staff some extra freedoms can be highly positive for your business.

Tax Pooling Solutions co-founder, Hannah Crosby gives other SMEs food for thought with her experience of finding highly skilled accounting employees who have chosen her firm over returning to a corporate because of the conditions she offers.

WorkBright director, Jacinta Penn, meanwhile, uses a network of contractors for her company who work the hours that suit them and she has gone to the disabled community for her skilled staff.

In the column from Movac's Mark Stuart's column the investment manager which helps fast growing companies grow, says all companies small and big have to recognise the new business models out there which gain nothing from having bums on seats. To encourage entrepreneurial thinking in your business give people space and look for the best people, wherever in the world they may be and make it work for them, he says.

We also hear this week from a small digital marketing business, Jericho, which is now part of a big business Asia Pacific Digital. The flexible working practices it was founded on will continue with the new owners, says outgoing CEO Jeff Mann. He is highly critical of the term: "Half day then?"

And if you have concerns about the legal implications of offering staff different work schedules which may not always suit, SBM Legal partner Bridget Smith answers all your questions.


Next week, we are looking at professional businesses such as dentists, doctors, accountants who are thinking outside the box to expand their practices. Tell us your stories.

- NZ Herald

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