Flexibility at Work

It’s important to recognise that everyone is unique and has different needs. A skilled dietician, personal trainer, or therapist wouldn’t give the same exact advice or programme to two different individuals. Similarly, we can’t expect everyone to thrive in the same work environment. It’s essential to tailor working conditions to each individual’s needs for optimal performance and well-being.

The landscape of work is evolving rapidly, driven by advancements in technology, changes in employee preferences, our understanding and awareness of neurodivergence within our teams and of course, lessons learned from the pandemic. Workforces are also becoming more diverse and multi-generational, with Millennials and Generation Z making up increasingly significant portions of the workforce and their preferences for flexible work arrangements gaining prominence.

Flexible working

In the United Kingdom, as in many other countries, the importance of flexibility in the workplace has become increasingly apparent. We understand when it comes to our approach to health, there is no one-size-fits all and this should be exactly the same when looking at our working environments.

Why is it important for organisations to listen to the demands of their workforce in 2023? The answer is simple: in order for businesses to perform at their best, they must allow individuals to cultivate environments that bring out their best performance.

So what factors should we take into consideration when working on our hybrid working strategies as an organisation?

Boosting Employee Well-being and Work-Life Balance

More and more we are seeing individuals wanting to choose the hours, days, and even weeks they work and where they want to work from. Not only this but what we are also coming to realise it the more open employers are to this approach, the more benefit we are seeing for the business.

Flexibility in working hours and location has a direct impact on employee well-being and work-life balance. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) highlights that remote working during the pandemic allowed employees to save time on commuting, leading to reduced stress levels and improved mental health (ONS, 2021).

Additionally, a study conducted by Deloitte found that the pandemic accelerated the adoption of flexible working practices, as employers and employees discovered the benefits of remote work (Deloitte, 2021).

Attracting and Retaining Talent

Organisations that offer flexible and hybrid working arrangements gain a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent. A study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) revealed that flexible working was one of the top three factors in influencing jobseekers’ decisions when choosing an employer (CIPD, 2021). Individuals more and more want autonomy, improved work-life balance, they don’t want to deal with daily commuting stress and they want their needs and preferences to be heard. By being flexible when it comes to hybrid working – organisations can create a positive work environment that attracts a diverse range of candidates and supports employee well-being and job satisfaction.

Enhancing Productivity and Creativity

Contrary to some initial concerns about remote work affecting productivity, research conducted by Stanford University revealed that remote employees reported a 13% performance increase (Bloom et al., 2015). Moreover, providing employees with the autonomy to choose where they work enhances creativity and fosters innovation.

Building Resilience and Business Continuity

The pandemic revealed the importance of building resilience within organisations. Embracing flexible working practices enabled companies to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and maintain business continuity. A report by McKinsey & Company highlighted that a hybrid work model is likely to be a key component of post-pandemic recovery strategies (McKinsey & Company, 2021).

Trust

Having two-way trusting relationships between companies and their individuals is key to a thriving, happy workforce. The more those at the top trust their teams to do their jobs and do them well, the more teams will trust the words and decisions of the business. Just like in any other relationship if there is no trust then everything else becomes very challenging. Letting people find a working routine and balance that works for them and trusting them to do their job and do it to the best of their ability will give them confidence and respect that result in much more than just productivity.

“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

So to conclude, flexibility and hybrid working have emerged as vital components of modern work culture. As the workforce landscape continues to evolve, organisations that prioritise employee well-being, productivity, and sustainability through flexible work arrangements will undoubtedly thrive. Embracing such practices not only attracts and retains top talent but also fosters a resilient and adaptable workforce, ready to navigate the challenges of the future.

Our journey towards embracing flexibility and hybrid working has only just begun, and as we move forward, it is essential for businesses and policymakers to collaborate, learn from each other, and continue refining these practices. By doing so, we can unlock the true potential of our people and create a future of work that is inclusive, productive, and sustainable for all.

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Happy Monday all,

Bianca, Co-Founder @ HumanOS 🌅