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Steve Power, Director of Print Image Network Ltd based in Stockport

Print Image Network is a multi-channel communications company that coordinates a wide range of services from design through to print and direct mail. Its specialist market is providing electoral communication services to local and national government throughout the UK along with online voting and scrutineer services to private companies and public bodies.

Based in the heart of Stockport town centre, its 19 employees have been enjoying the benefits that flexible working provides for some time.

Steve said: “Around four years ago we recognised that we needed to approach how we worked differently and we identified flexible working as a positive way to instigate a change in culture. Not only does flexible working enable us to attract staff it also makes it easier for us to retain them as well as it boosts employee morale.

“Like most modern businesses, we initially operated flexible working on a mostly informal basis but decided it was important that we should consider it more formally based around the needs of the business and its employees.

“Certain employees had developed particular needs in terms of health and well-being and indicated that they felt that flexible working was something that could help their situation. They opted to try it out on a trial basis and so we supported them and it’s worked out pretty well so far to the point that we now have a formal application process.”

Print Image Network Ltd aren’t alone in recognising that by offering flexible working options as part of a job then they’re more likely to attract talent and retain them. With congestion currently an issue across Greater Manchester, those that travel during the morning and evening peaks can become stressed and weary more quickly than those who are able to work flexibly.

He added: “Congestion was a key factor in us considering our flexible working plan. Our staff were really suffering from the heavy congestion that often blights journeys in and out of Stockport and not just that, it affected people’s work-life balance and overall performance.

The positive effect on the health and well-being of staff coupled with the benefit to our business that the trial revealed overall led us to instigate a full flexible working plan.

“If there’s a way that staff can start work a bit later and finish a little later or vice versa, and they miss the traffic then that really helps. We worked with our Human Resource team at Ellis Whittam and they provided us with the support to trial flexible working amongst our staff.

“It proved to be such a good thing that we now include flexible working in employee contracts and I like to think that it makes working here a truly great experience.

“I’d urge any business, whether big or small, to give their staff the chance to try flexible working – you might be surprised by the results!”