As we all know, the pandemic has changed the way we work. There is a rising expectation for employees wanting A hybrid working model or even a flexible work schedule perhaps for those companies where home working is simply not an option. The challenge for companies is that this understandably, requires adjustments not only to systems and procedures, training of new staff, but importantly, for the culture and leadership of an organisation – for some companies, it’s easier to revert to the traditional work practices, but ultimately, there is a now expectation for both existing staff and those looking to join your company. You will lose talent and struggle to hire, if you are not innovative enough to be flexible.
The majority of the clients I work with have moved over to a hybrid work model, some through choice, some through fear of losing their top talent. In some cases where home working is not an option, an innovative approach to flexible working is proving successful too – It was initially surprising to hear one of my clients moving over to a 4 day standard week, with longer hours to still fulfil the full time expectation Monday through to Thursday. Fridays are set aside for overtime hours or project work, but neither are compulsory. The option of a long weekend has seen employee’s productivity and output levels increase, and as a result, overtime pay has reduced as it is more closely monitored and often not necessary, as it was perhaps previously abused with no real proof of return on investment. This may not work in every industry, but for some, it clearly does.
Other companies now offer flexible working with core hours between certain times of the day – this ensures that they are fully staffed when their customers are likely to need them, but for those early risers, who are more productive first thing, or those that need to work around childcare commitments, it enables employees to do their contracted hours, on site, and still gives them that sense of freedom to work their work around their lifestyles.
For companies who are clear with their expectations and can show a more flexible approach when employees ask for more freedom within the realms of their roles, it goes without saying that your employees will think twice before being enticed with new opportunities, or looking to move on.