How to Incorporate Flexible Working in Veterinary: Do You Have Flex Appeal?

In a recent RCVS work survey, working hours were reported to be one of the most common reasons for those considering leaving the profession, with many veterinary professionals citing they needed a better work life balance. Knowing how to Incorporate Flexible Working in Veterinary is vital, but for a long time has been deemed almost certainly impossible. In this month's guest blog post Angela Jones, Equine Veterinarian and Content Creator for Flexee discusses how to strike the right Work Life Balance (WLB).

Angela Jones, Flexee

At our last Flexee team meeting, as an ice breaker, we discussed the type of hat that best represents us. The variation in the type of hat we chose were hilarious. From yellow sun hats, a faded velvet number, to a unicorn disco ball bike helmet. A pretty eclectic mix!

It got me thinking. As individuals, we wear many, different hats. And as veterinary professional, we wear many more. I often describe being a veterinary surgeon as having multiple personalities; having to flip from a new puppy consult, to euthanasia or high value vetting, to a pony club annual vaccination, all within the space of an hour. Add to that a caregiving hat, a clinical director hat, it’s no wonder that 70% of vets worry about burnout. So, how do we find the hat that is authentically “us”? How do we find balance?

Do you Have Flex Appeal?

Whether you're an employee or an employer it's a simple question to ask yourself: Do you have flex appeal? Flexible working, either perceived flexibility or formal flexibility has been shown to improve work life balance. Simply allowing employees to choose their start or finish, helps them feel as though they have a better work life balance, even when they’re working the same hours. Think about this for a moment and then ask yourself again: Do you have flex appeal?

If you own or manage a veterinary business how does your practice measure up? Take our Flexee Health Score today to find out, we will guide you through how to either improve your flexible working status or get you accredited as a flexible working employer.

At Flexee we define work life balance (WLB) as a state of well-being that can be maintained through effective management of multiple work and non-work responsibilities, with minimal negative impact. Improving work life balance has multiple positive side effects. It positively impacts physical, mental and social well being. Improving your WLB also improves job satisfaction and career success, due to reduced burnout and absenteeism.

But improving WLB doesn’t just benefit the individual. It can also increase organisational commitment, reduce staff turnover (as well as the cost of recruitment and training) and is proven to dramatically improve performance. Something the PetsApp Pack can attest to. Increased performance equals increased profitability! Win win!

How to Incorporate Flexible Working in Veterinary

Applying for flexible working is about to get a whole load easier. As of early 2024, the Flexible Working Bill will become law. This will mean that applying for flexible working will become a day 1 right, instead of having to be in your place of work for 26 weeks or more before applying. You’ll be able to make 2 flexible working requests per year instead of one and employees will no longer be required to provide an explanation of how their request may affect the employer. Employers will also have to consult with employees before rejecting their request. So whether it’s job sharing, compressed hours or hybrid working, the future is flexible.

If the idea of applying for flexible working is too overwhelming or you need some help navigating the new normal for your clinic, Flexee offers a whole range of services, from team education on our Flexee Hub to a bespoke HR consultancy service, to help you work your way to greater flex appeal and a happier career path.

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