94% of businesses believe that a flexible workforce is "vital or important to the competitiveness of the UK's labour market and for prospects for investment and job creation" 
Today we want to discuss the benefits of a flexible workforce for both employers and employees but firstly, let's briefly define it.
What makes the workforce flexible?
Flexibility applies to the employees' skills and functions in the company as well as to the company's hiring and contracting practices.
The members of a flexible workforce are capable of performing a variety of different tasks and can be deployed to where and when they are needed the most.
Companies, embracing flexibility, can hire temporary, part-time and contract employees to support the efforts of full-time staff during busier periods or for specific campaigns. As a result, a flexible workforce ensures cost effectiveness and more flexible employment opportunities, matching the needs of both employers and employees. Let's now look at 4 specific benefits of a flexible workforce:
1. More Employment Opportunities for Greater Talent Diversity
Rigid working times and too narrow skills and training requirements often shut great talent out of the labour market. More flexible working arrangements enable students to work part-time, people to gain initial experience in a new industry, parents to return part-time from maternity or paternity leave. Members of the flexible workforce can work hours which match their needs. Meanwhile companies benefit from a more diverse talent pool whose potential might otherwise remain untapped.
2. Increased Productivity and Effectiveness
With employees capable of performing a variety of functions, their productivity can be optimised by directing them to any task as soon as it arises. As a result, issues are fixed without delay, guaranteeing sustained standards and customer satisfaction. On the shop floor, for example, a member of the facilities management team can immediately respond to an out-of-stock signal and re-stock shelves, preempting customer dissatisfaction and losses for the retailer.
3. Resource Efficiency
A flexible workforce enables companies to function agilely. Companies which are looking to diminish operation costs or are facing high levels of absence due to sickness can maintain high standards and achieve targets even with a small number of employees with increased productivity and effectiveness.
4. Talent Retention and Engagement
Whereas a flexible workforce enables agility, it does not seek to cut on the company’s talent but to engage and encourage it. Assigning diverse tasks to employees does not only improve productivity, effectiveness and efficiency but also creates a dynamic work environment, resulting in greater employee engagement. Employees are trusted with more responsibilities and are encouraged to develop and implement a broader skill set, which appeals to highly skilled talent and ensures its retention.
1 CBI/Accenture Employment Trends Survey 2015