The widespread demand for flexible working and the significant policy drivers to improve flexible working and increase its use have underscored the need for real-life, evidence-based guidance to support flexible working implementation. In 2019 the CIPD therefore conducted in-depth research in collaboration with Affinity Health at Work. Our insight was drawn from cross-sector case studies, action learning events and reflective diaries.

Nine organisations contributed to these case studies. In each organisation, interviews were conducted with an HR professional, a line manager and a flexible worker to obtain a rounded perspective. A further case study was gathered from a job-share partnership (in which the job-sharers have worked together across different employers).

Across the different case study organisations, there was a wide range of examples of flexible working, including:  

  • part-time 
  • job-share 
  • compressed hours 
  • term-time-only contracts 
  • flexibility over working days 
  • working from home 
  • annualised hours 
  • staggered hours (with late starts/early finishes) 
  • four-day week (with full-time pay) 
  • ad hoc flexibility  
  • temporary flexibility (such as career breaks and sabbaticals).

The full summaries of these case studies and practice highlights are collated here to give clear examples of flexible working operating within different contexts, including at senior levels and in roles and areas of organisations that are not traditionally seen as suitable for flexible working. By examining and adapting as appropriate some of the creative flexible working practices seen, organisations and people professionals can derive solutions that can help them to successfully enable flexible working whatever stage they are at on their journey.

In this series

Case study

Flexible working: Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Implementing flexible working produced benefits in terms of retention and reduced sickness absence

Case study

Flexible working: Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Experimentation is key when it comes to flexible working

Case study

Flexible working: GLF Schools

Communication proved critical for making flexible working successful

Case study

Flexible working: Hachette

CEO support and promotion of flexible working key to its success

Case study

Flexible working: Lendlease

Trust and good communication between line managers and colleagues essential for developing successful flexible working

Case study

Flexible working: Pharmaceutical Research Associates

Flexibility is equally beneficial for the organisation, employees and, importantly, clients

Case study

Flexible working: Schneider Electric

Successful implementation of flexible working looks different across different areas of the business

Case study

Flexible working: Transport for London (TfL)

Finding a balance for both employee and business needs

Case study

Flexible working: United Living

Champion the process through line managers and people at different levels to overcome any resistance

Case study

Flexible working: A job-share partnership

Honesty and trust between a job-sharing partnership essential for it to work successfully

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