Categories
Flexible Working

Flexible Working Appeal – How to Make a Convincing Flex Request

Flexible working is undergoing a paradigm shift. Cued by the Covid pandemic, several businesses are leaning towards a more agile format. Tech giants are trailblazing and high-street brands are following suit. But many employers remain hesitant about flex. Perhaps because it was presented during lockdown in its most dystopian manner – stressful, isolated and juggled in with home-schooling. How do you convince a doubtful boss about the long-term benefits of flex?

What procedure?

You may make a statutory flexible working request if you meet the requirements. Alternatively, you may submit an informal request. For more information on your legal rights, check out www.acas.org.uk and www.gov.uk. Whichever route you choose, you will still have to sell your idea.

Slice it up

Too often people think that the default is to go part-time. There are myriad options out there and you may find that full-time but with core or staggered hours is actually more feasible. Slice up your working life and see what kind of flex will suit each part of it. For example, you could do compressed hours in conjunction with home-working. Be as creative as you can, so that you can present your employer with as many realistic alternatives as possible.

Gather evidence of Flexible Working

A case is only as good as its evidence. Check whether your employer has a flexible working policy in its handbook and use that as a starting point. To boost your request, you could gather case-studies which relate directly to your job position which demonstrate successful examples of flex working. The strongest argument against “it can’t be done” is to show, exactly and concretely, how it is being done. You may also gather statistics about flex and the corresponding impact on productivity in your industry.

Sell your business model

Our reasons for flex-working are deeply rooted because they impact on such important areas of life such as health, family or identity. But this is not the time to present a purely personal case or one that deals solely with generalities. By all means, emphasise the positive outcomes for you but that it only half the story. We all acknowledge that there are many advantages associated with homeworking. There is less stress, less time lost commuting, less pressure on public transport and a positive impact on the environment. However, your employer still has a business to run, as well as a profit and loss account to balance.

Get specific. Anticipate every push-back your employer can make and come up with a persuasive solution. If you work from home on Thursdays and there is a scheduled team meeting that day, offer to link in via Zoom.
Talk up the benefits to the employer of offering flexibility. If you work remotely full-time, your boss could save money on renting commercial office space. If business is brisk at the start of the week but sluggish later on, you could offer to do more hours on Monday in return for an early departure on Friday.


Flex back

Flexibility is two-way street. If your employer is willing to let you flex, be prepared to do the same in return. When there is an away day that usually falls on your at-home time, still turn up. If there is a sudden temporary upsurge in work, pitch in by logging on in the evening for example (although be vigilant that this does not settle into a permanent pattern). This approach not only builds strong businesses, it also promotes goodwill and fruitful professional relationships. Check out why staying connected while remote working important and how you can best state your case to your employer how it will work for them.

Schedule a Flexible Working trial period

Employers may well be sceptical about whether flex working will actually deliver and this uneasiness can lead them to turn down requests. To combat this hesitancy, offer a trial period to see how it pans out. If there are difficulties, use this experience as an opportunity to iron them out in a proactive manner.
Flex Appeal. Have you got it?

Categories
Business Careers

Flex From Day 1 Won’t Work, Here’s Why:

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.

Categories
Business Flexible Working Industry Flexers

We Found Our Flex …By Creating And Championing A Flexible Working Culture

Flexible and remote working. A guest blog from the team at RedWizard – Project, Change & Transformation Experts.

RedWizard And Flex

At RedWizard, we’re not just a team, we’re a strong community of remote and flexible workers. And we believe flexible working should be a basic human right. Why? Because, for the majority of people, it improves their overall health and wellbeing. It’s been proven to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction. Time spent on trains and buses can now be spent with family and friends. There’s more time for exercise, mindful meditation and preparing healthy food. It also means avoiding toxins like exhaust fumes when commuting. Not only that, it’s a cost-cutter with fewer travel expenses and work clothes required… and the list goes on! 

Flexible—It’s Not Just A Word, It’s One Of Our Core Values.

Being flexible is one of our core values–along with being bold, loyal, warm and quirky—they make us who we are and help us to create the future we want to experience. So, we’ve said goodbye to 9-5 and hello to a flexible future!

Control? We Hand It Over And Trust 

Our approach to creating a flexible working culture is to trust our people and hand over control. We focus on what’s being delivered—the outcome. How our people get there is completely up to them. We hire them to do a job, we give them control and don’t micromanage—in other words, we TRUST them! 

By taking this approach, the entire RedWizard community is driven, productive, innovative, passionate about their own work, and inspired by our collective vision and purpose-led mission. Challenges change and change challenges Implementing real flexibility and remote working has its challenges. But… like all businesses, we were born to change! And we take a very human approach. From technology to health and wellbeing, we work together to ensure the entire RedWizard community gets the support they need and remains connected. We do this by keeping pace with new technology and running weekly ‘Good to Connect’ meetings–giving everyone a chance to open up and share if they wish. We listen and care about each other. There’s always someone available for an online chat and a cuppa!

Benefits? You Bet… For Us And Our Clients

Our flexible culture has had a positive impact on the services we provide our clients and our own internal processes, functions and working lives. And having the ability to work in a way that’s right for us—on an individual basis—means we’ve time to live our lives in a meaningful way. We’re more creative, innovative and far more productive as a result. 

What Does It Mean For Our Clients?

Because we all work remotely our overhead is low. This means we can pass the savings on to our clients and remain competitive in the marketplace—making us small, but mighty. With a clear and proven methodology, which we call our Big Four—people, communications, insight, agility—we’re able to accommodate global working across different time zones, we just take time off during the day. 

Our business has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, and we believe our approach to remote and flexible working has played a major role. It’s enabled us to attract some exceptional talent—people who share our values and recognise the benefits of flexible and remote working. As a result, our numbers are growing, we’ve more interest in our services. And we’ve even been shortlisted for the Project Management Institute (PMI) UK National Project Awards, in the category of ‘PMO of the Year’. It’s an exciting time for us all. 

Hey, It Works For Us!

Flexible and remote working is a hot topic at the moment, and opinions across industries are uniting and dividing. Some say it’s great for health and wellbeing, others say it’s harmful. Some say it increases productivity, others say it’s too distracting. Whatever you want to believe, you’re bound to find something on the internet to back up your argument—although it may not always be supported by evidence! 

But… 

We can say with confidence, flexible and remote working has worked for us, is working for us, and will continue to work for us. We believe it’s the future—and should be a basic human right. We’ve more on this topic If you found our approach to flexible and remote working of interest, you may find some of our other articles on this subject of interest too. So please, join the conversation, visit our blog and feel free to like and share any of our articles.

Video: Hear how flexible and remote working impacts RedWizard’s founder and CEO, and online community.

RedWizard Your community of project, change and transformation experts.

Think of us as your very own project, change or transformation management office with decades of experience. We’ll help you identify the right support model for your business and help you evolve that model as your business changes. Our story

Red Wizard Consulting Logo, flexible and remote working supporters

Want to read more about the companies who are flying the flag for flexible working? Check these out…

Hilti – Helping You Find Your Flex

Royal London – Helping You Find Your Flex

Badenoch + Clark – The Rise Of The Flex Working, Flex Supporting Rec Cons

A HR Journey With Pitney Bowes