A recent survey conducted by Lancaster University of 500 Managers from medium to large organisations within the UK found that they believe 70% of the UK’s workforce will be working flexibly by 2020. Furthermore 42 percent of respondents said that flexible working enabled them to get more done.
It is not a surprise that there is an upward trend in flexible working as people’s work life balance focus has changed significantly over the past few years. Employers are recognising the shift in dynamics of how their workforce can be better organised and flexible working is becoming a pivotal area in enabling this shift.
Innovations in technology and how people are being managed are 2 key drivers which are enabling flexible working to become more of a norm amongst organisations. However flexible working especially mobile working isn’t always viewed in such a positive light as some employers believe that working away from the business centre can create an environment of disconnection and fragmentation for many employees.
It is also widely recognised that many cultural barriers exist in organisations where flexible working does not fit in with Company ethos or how work should be delivered. It all really depends on the organisation and how it is structured. But to completely rule out the possibility of becoming more flexible could be damaging for many employers as employees could value flexible working more so than receiving a pay increase for example.
HR is often in the middle of such waves of change and it cannot be disputed that it does present a challenge for many organisations to provide a flexible working solution that improves how the organisation is performing. Areas such as performance management for example will need to be adapted to meet the change in how work is delivered by employees who find themselves working more flexibly but there is no doubt if managed well the benefits for both the employee and organisation could be considerable.
If you are an employer do you have a flexible working culture that you apply in your organisation or are you considering options in this area for the future? Whatever you decide some careful planning and inclusion of your employees in the conversation will be an important part of the process. Clear guidance and understanding of how such a change would work should be at the centre of the planning process.
Whatever you choose to do in this area I wish you well and hope you reap the rewards that are potentially available from becoming more flexible in your working practices.
StratHRgy Consultants Limited
0115 856 1295