OF ALL REQUESTS RECRUITERS AND CLIENTS GET FROM CANDIDATES ABOUT POTENTIAL JOB OPPORTUNITIES IS TO WHAT EXTENT A COMPANY OFFERS FLEXIBLE WORKING. COMPANIES ARE INCREASINGLY SHIFTING TOWARDS A LESS PRESCRIPTIVE WAY OF WORKING WHERE BEING PRESENT IN THE OFFICE IS LESS MANDATORY. FLEXIBLE WORKING IS COMMONLY THOUGHT AS ONLY OFFERING WORKING FROM HOME OR PART TIME OPTIONS BUT IT’S REALLY ABOUT PROVIDING A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL ARRANGEMENT THAT PROMOTES PRODUCTIVITY OF BEING PRESENT.
The following outlines a few trends that are increasingly being asked for by candidates and some of the ways businesses can adapt:
Working from home
The most common flexible working arrangement asked for is working from home. Employees find this can dramatically increase their focus, increasing their productivity, while allowing them to be present at home. Primary carers of children or elders will also request working from home as it allows them to responsively address potential problems quicker while also maximising productivity.
Historically some employers have been concerned that employees may take advantage and not deliver what they were hoping. This though is a different issue for another time, except to say that flexible working should be about mutually beneficial arrangements and creating a climate of good will rather leading to much better outcomes.
Flexible start and end times
Everyone has a different point in the day that they find they work most productively, early birds lean towards an early start and night owls will work more effectively in the evenings. Parents will often need time in the morning or afternoons to manage school runs and find themselves caught between family and work commitments.
Businesses that want to create a flexible culture that prioritises productivity over presenteeism are adapting to this and offering staff flexible and personalised work schedules. By not demanding a nine to five work environment, businesses will see productivity soar and ensure parents can compliment their commitments. One obvious benefit is in organisational commitment and retention as staff feel valued.
Working from anywhere
This component is not so much about creating a culture of flexibility, but of building technological capabilities to ensure that staff can work either in any office or anywhere that they can feasibly work. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), hot desking, working from home, and access to shared works paces all are examples of how businesses can provide the access for staff to be in the right environment to work productively. Working from anywhere is about ensuring staff have the easiest access to the workplace and the communications and network infrastructure to seamlessly transition from their usual work place to anywhere.
Working from home, flexible starts and working anywhere are the most common ways businesses are adapting to what staff want in a flexible working but there are many more that can be used. The underlying priority for any arrangement is about providing a custom fit for staff and businesses to ensure productivity is maximised and that trust is always maintained between the manager and their staff.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what does and doesn’t work with flexible working as both a candidate or a client - please feel free to contact me for a confidential discussion.
Project Resource Partners
Level 29, 360 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
T +61 3 9949 8100 D +61 3 9949 8105