Develop clear guidelines - establish what the procedures are for changing hours, and outline which job roles have scope for flexible working. Clear guidelines will help counter any accusations that some employees appear to have more help than others.

Consider the organisation’s culture - sometimes long hours are a necessity when deadlines are looming. But on usual workdays, managers should encourage employees to leave after they have worked their contracted hours.

Be supportive of employees’ interests and responsibilities outside of work. Provide information about local services, such as childcare (if your business is too small to have a crèche). Try to accommodate the employee who, for example, needs to get away a bit early on Wednesdays to make that Spanish class.

Communicate what you are doing. Once you have decided on a strategy, mention it in your recruitment advertising, and use individual appraisal sessions to ensure that staff are aware of their options. Put details in employment contracts to indicate your commitment to the strategy.

Monitor and evaluate – staff turnover and absenteeism are easy to monitor, but also try to get employees’ individual feedback. Check out www.employersforwork– for further practical advice about how to make your business a happier one.