As a lesser educated character on The Big Bang Theory once hypothesised… “All jacuzzi’s are hot tubs, but not all hot tubs are jacuzzi’s”. I’d like to apply this insight here with Hybrid Working and Flexible Working. Let’s not risk falling into that “4 Day Week” again. When it comes to flexible working there is no one size fits all solution.
Communicating Flexible Working
Flexible working and the policies which govern it, should be about how businesses are willing to communicate. Good communication should be embedded in an organisations values, culture and subsequent behaviours. We should view employees as individuals rather than an asset/fixed cost or number on the bottom line. It’s about allowing them to use their voice and us as business leaders, listening. To be ‘engaged’ our employees need to be heard. Therefore collaboration is key to ascertaining what can make our people productive members of a team. There needs to be the understanding that what works one week, can just as easily change in the next – for both parties.
TRUE flexible working paves the way for a more diverse and inclusive workplace. The Output model is a tool we can use to make this happen.
Flexible Working and Output Based Models
Society and ethical businesses must move away from 1950’s work modalities. It is vital that we begin to look at all of our roles and functions as an output. This means to engage with candidates based on what they can deliver – not what they look like, what school they’ve come from, their gender or socio-economic background. If you can’t do that, you are in danger of not being accessible as an employer, as we march into the future of work today.
People are seeking flexible working opportunities in their thousands, and only 40% of them are parents. If the last 12 months have taught us nothing else, its how quickly life can change for the masses. For the individual it can be even quicker and occur more often.
The Future Of Work
We have got to learn lessons from the last 12 months. Businesses have got to move forward, with their eyes open and with a new way of thinking. Let’s embody the scientists who will lead us out of this mess that is Covid 19. This is our moment to be ingenious, intuitive, exciting and ground breaking.
My team and I can see a future of work, that doesn’t leave anyone behind. One that we know is going to require some shifts in mindset and strong leadership. Furthermore we need to be looking a re-skilling those at risk of automation driven job loss. Additionally businesses need to engage with schools and represent their talent as role models for our children.
The narrative around flexible working has to change. There is only a single ‘one size fits all solution’. That is to embed in the values and culture of an organisation that flexible working is about open conversations regarding productivity and staff wellbeing.
Don’t Use Flexible Working And Hybrid Working Interchangeably
So we are asking employers not to replace their flexible working agenda’s with hybrid working. Hybrid working is one of many solutions. It is not the only solution.