Flexible working – The new reality here to stay?

Back Flexible working – The new reality here to stay?

We have just been thrown into a world where we must, where possible: continue to work full time from home, continue to exercise, remember to check in with friends and family, shower sometime this week, all the while throw in a couple of children running riot and refusing to complete their schoolwork. You also need to keep motivated to get out of bed each day because right now, that is hard. Oh, flexibility we need you!

This pandemic has bought so many negative and horrifying experiences for us all, the content and reports online are upsetting along with the daily updates from our Prime Minister which keep us on the edge of our seats, I think it’s time to talk about the positives – apart from saving time on doing the ironing!

Flexible working

Pre-lockdown it was a bit of a talking point wasn’t it. ‘No, you can’t work from home, I need you in the office’, ‘no the position needs to be full time office based, home based won’t work’. Oh, I could go on and on. We have all either been disappointed in the request being declined or been one of the lucky ones who have had an employer to support it. Well today we can all safely say we have tried and tested remote working – guess what, it wasn’t that bad was it? Did you get your work completed on time even though you went for a run at 9am for an hour every day? Were you more productive because you were able to write that article when the kids were napping? I don’t know about you, but lockdown has been the best thing organisations have had to experience for a long time – and for us all to learn more about how we would react to it.

It’s time to allow flex to be the way of the future and for employers to now see the benefit. Anything that doesn’t fix people to a 9-5, five-day week in the traditional way excludes so many people from work. It could be more creative shift patterns, flexi-time, job shares, part time, compressed hours, core hours, or as simple as allowing some employees to work different patterns.

It’s time to allow flex to be the way of the future and for employers to now see the benefit. Anything that doesn’t fix people to a 9-5, five-day week in the traditional way excludes so many people from work. It could be more creative shift patterns, flexi-time, job shares, part time, compressed hours, core hours, or as simple as allowing some employees to work different patterns.

• For employees to improve work-life balance, be healthier and happier, and be better able to provide for themselves and their families.

• For employers to help boost productivity, talent attraction, staff retention and save on site costs.

• For employers to help boost productivity, talent attraction, staff retention and save on site costs.

But don’t think this is for everyone, every single person has a different situation and requirement in what makes them work productively and feel happiest in. I have colleagues who can’t stand working from home and cannot wait to be moving back into the office. The most important part of flex working is ensuring the people who want it have the chance to decide if it’s for them or not.

Today employers have had to invest not only in technologies to allow remote working to happen but also in their trust to know that people can be trusted to get work done even if they have taken a couple of hours out during the day.

Flexible working is not about parents, it is about people. People with needs and people who want to be happier in their life and work with balance which doesn’t fit into a 9-5 construct. Let’s continue to work like we are, continue to trust more and continue to support others in their work life balance needs – because the future can only be flexible.