Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) was advocating for flexible working to be the norm, not the exception, believing it to be central to the creation of inclusive and productive workplaces.
What are the benefits of flexible working?
Well, it can help you attract talent and support diversity. It can also improve job satisfaction, support well-being and enable your organisation to be more agile and able to deal with change.
Why didn’t we have more flexible working before the pandemic?
In our experience, there have been and still are, a number of potential barriers such as line manager attitudes to flexible working and concerns about meeting operational and customer requirements. A performance culture that focus on hours worked, rather than outputs achieved, can also lead to a concern that it’s just too difficult to manage. A lack of support from senior managers can also influence the availability of flexible working. Of course, flexible working isn’t always possible due to the requirements of some roles and this can lead to a feeling of inequality of access to flexible working and potential unfairness.
What’s the future of flexible working?
According to a recent report Forever Flex: Making flexible working work beyond a crisis, 72 percent of employees want to continue to continue working from home after the pandemic, 70 percent want to carry on working flexi-time and 64 percent want to stay with part time hours.
To keep your top talent, and be able to access it in the future, employers will have to take heed of these preferences. Employers need to consider:
- How to manage performance through outputs achieved not hours worked
- How to encourage teamwork and innovation when employees are working remotely
- How to reward and recognise your employees when they’re working remotely
- How to ensure your employees’ good mental and physical well-being
Sounds like a challenge?
Please get in touch for support with getting your HR policies and procedures right, to support your people in line with your vision and values and help you achieve business success.