Has the time come for a new way of working?

We recently ran a survey on our social media and 58% of respondents are now or have been, working from home. Majority are due to employers preferring to keep employees safe at home during the corona virus scare – but 19% are always allowed to work remotely.

We’ve published many articles over the years on the benefits and realities of flexible, remote working. It is something that we at Inspire Selection are passionate about. Currently 100% of our employees are free to work from home whenever they want to. We have developed from the needless clocking in of hours and 9-5 culture. Whilst we expect our team to work hard and deliver excellent customer service to their clients, we also know that they are more than ‘just an employee’ – they are parents who want to watch their child’s morning assembly, spouses whose turn it is to do the weekly shop, humans who need medical check ups or just people who feel better and are more productive if they make their 8.00am yoga class/enjoy a leisurely dog walk, they are fully supported in all those roles. As a result, employees are generally more relaxed in themselves, and they don’t begrudge going to work.

So why should more companies start embracing this ‘new way’ of working? The current pandemic shows us that business needs to be more flexible; organisations currently need to find ways to keep their employees from moving around and congregating in large groups. Those who are already embracing flexible working will naturally fair better in these extraordinary times.

However, it shouldn’t be a worldwide pandemic that forces companies to start looking into creating a more agile workforce. By forcing employees to be present at an office during prescribed hours can limit an Employer from attracting a more diverse workforce.

This week saw International Women’s Day 2020 with the tag line #EachforEqual, citing that more equal workforce equates to a fairer, more successful society. By opening up the workforce to people who have previously been overlooked, by providing a more flexible day, concentrating on output and productivity rather than time in the office we start to create a more dynamic, agile workforce able to adapt to new situations.

Many studies back up the need for a more flexible workforce – none more so than Microsoft in Japan this summer. All 2,300 of Microsoft’s entire workforce in Japan participated in the Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019 experiment and were given Fridays off for the whole of August without decreasing pay, it resulted in a reported 40% increase in productivity https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/04/microsoft-japan-four-day-work-week-productivity

Over the coming weeks and months there will be a global need for people and businesses to adapt that way they work, socialise and educate. It’s very possible that those agile organisations will be able to adjust to the ever-changing situation, and we very much hope that the positive outcome will result in additional organisations embracing a more flexible approach to the working practices of their staff.

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