A fight for real change in Flexible Working, is about the long term. And if we lose sight of that by aiming for short term changes, then we are creating larger hurdles for ourselves down the road.
Katy Perry once sang ‘I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything’… which is a self awareness statement many of us will have felt over the last few years.
Standing up for what you believe in can be hard and rewarding and grey making and sleep depriving. But those who do it, lead us in new directions and drive the change we need for all of our futures.
Pushing the boundaries of the accepted is something I ask of my team on a day to day basis, we knew before the impact of Covid19 on work, just how hard our fight is – I cant say the ‘flexibility’ some of us have been rewarded with, has helped our cause…
Whilst many continue to see #FlexibleWorking as a female or mum based issue, we will never see change and whilst we applaud the CIPD #FlexFromDay1 campaign, in reality, the firms who say NO to #FlexibleWorkRequests at 6 months, are in no danger or pressure of changing their views from delivering the same verdict at Day 1.
So where does that leave us?
Well in my humble opinion, it leaves us with a rather large education piece to deliver.
Businesses need to share their best practice. Businesses need to share the trials and tribulations of their journeys to flexible working and the positive impact it has had on productivity and the bottom line. It is only by showcasing the positive impact on business, including profiling the men who work flexibly and highlighting the diversity of thought and people a flex work program can deliver, that we will finally get movement in this space.
We can’t be distracted by the ‘progressive’ #4dayweek tribe – delivering another cunning move to shut us up. A ready made excuse, for companies to not look at any other form of flexibility you may need, why would they if you already get to work 4 days a week?
We can’t just leave it to Mother Pukka and Joeli Brearly to fight for mums or Ian Dinwiddy and Han-Son Lee to fight for dads. We as a nation of workers need to be open about what we want and share with our employers HOW we can make it work.
A move to output based employment contracts?
We business leaders and owners need to find the skills to reward OUTPUT not HOURS when it comes to the relationships with our employees. We need to move away from the archaic work models of the 1950’s when only the ‘Man of the house’ was expected to work and that we are still fundamentally adhering too.
This is about the future of work (of which flexibility isn’t the only factor) and (un)fortunately its not politicians who can deliver this. The onus IS on us.
We need a reset. We need to learn. We need to want to change. And we need to do it.
If you can help our #CallForChange in working practices please do get in touch, we would love to share your journeys and the reasons why you want to see #changeinourlifetime.