The Future of Work Capsules: (2) Flexibility as one of the most important trends changing the future workplace today.

The Future of Work Capsules: (2)

Baptista is a human resource professional with a broad generalist background. Building a team of efficient & effective workforce is her business. Affecting lives is her calling!  She is an HR Generalist, strategic planner, innovative, professional connector and a motivator. You can reach her via e-mail on [email protected]  You can follow this conversation on Linked-In: Baptista Sarah Gebu and on twitter @SarahTista.  Call or WhatsApp: +233(0)262213313. Follow the hashtag #theFutureofWorkCapsules #FoWC

Work is expected to be what we do for a living and not the place we report each day as a facility just as how our body temple should be our inner heart and not the church premises for instance that we report to often?

Technology is advancing the way we work, taking it to the next level extending work beyond the normal standard hours and from our confined workplace environment.  Are you permitted to work whenever and wherever you will? Is it for better or for worse for you? How do you manage your work-life balance when you now attend to for instances your customers and clients even whiles having dinner with your family or respond to corporate emails whiles on board that bus to and from events for instance on weekends. How we reclaim our work –life balance in times like this will go a long way to support employees group their possible, probable and most preferred employer or organization by easy elimination without permutation.

Are you permitted the option to work during the day or during late evenings for instance due to your present circumstances as a result of the outbreak of the global covid-19 pandemic when children are all still home not attending school yet? The world is evolving with this dress rehearsal the Coronavirus pandemic has introduced.

The flexibility to work is a great trend we need to consider? So I ask; how flexible is your work? According to Cisco’s VP Digital HR and their Global Chief of Staff Jason Phillips; “Work flexibility is becoming the new norm. The challenge is how fast an organization can provide it. Those that are going to be in a far better position to retain top talent over the next three to five years” will be the organizations providing great flexibility.

It’s now a new normal to find multi-nationals, non-governmental organizations and most companies promote their work flexibility policies in a bit to entice and attract top performers. But how can granting this flexibility help to promote the employee well-being and improve work productivity as well as help retain employees. At the work place, usually one departments input becomes another departments output.  How would the promotion of this work flexibility help foster bonding and collaboration across board when employees work at varied times? How will that impart our culture as an organization?

Promoting work flexibility may vary by industry and sector. Its common knowledge the tech industry is leading the way as a result of this global pandemic hitting global economies introducing the new normal. It may not be a welcome news for instance with persons within the engineering and construction industry. While constructing a building, how would the team collaborate if they all work at varied times and days. At offshore, how would engineers collaborate, when others are working from home? It is doable for others but may not be so easy for everyone.

The service industry is benefiting so much from this global new normal introduced trend. Even in the service industry, variations could still render this trend voidable. A gynecologist or a factory hand cannot change his /her schedule at the health facility or factory all by him or herself respectively. But the book –keeper can at the comfort of his home be able to put all the figures together. Main reason the industry with the utmost flexible working condition is tech ranked with 72% with manufacturing and healthcare amongst the least flexible ranked at 43% by professionals according to the global talent report.

The value proposition flexibility offers is of a two edge sword providing mutual benefits to both employer and employee’s as such greater flexibility leads to greater diversity. To the employee, work –life balance becomes the clearest benefit. Retention and attraction of top talents becomes the clearest for the employer helping to boost productivity. Ctrip, allowed its employees to work from home according to a recent Standford study conducted in China. The flexibility introduced to allow employees to work from home promoting work-life balance increased Ctrip’s productivity by 13% while’s 50% reduction was recorded over turnover. As a result, Ctrip got the flexibility policy introduced to all its 16,000 employees contributing to a 22% increase in productivity.

We need to make a conscious effort to providing greater diversity by employing flexibility.  Hitherto, working mothers were considered as peoples desiring flexibility. But most people with disabilities, the economically disadvanted, military spouses, and people with health problems need and requires work flexibility for varied reasons as well.

Collaborating remotely can be a challenge without the use of tech tools. We are familiar with the use of the Zoom, GoToMeeting, MsTeams just to mention but a few tech tools supporting manage collaborative challenges flexibility as a trend poses for now. With the use of these tech tools, employees are able to seamlessly connect to collaborate and work to boost productivity.

These easy how to step, will support you manage a flexible work culture

  1. Knowledge of employee flexibility needs and wants. What kind of flexible work options do your employees really need and for how long. What will be the modalities to put in place for its effective implementation?
  2. Employ tech tools to support collaborative efforts.
  3. Create work flexibility policy  that outline the do’s and don’ts clearly, whiles providing education and awareness of this policy in addition to other related policies
  4. Keep your remote employees engaged by providing the platform for managers to train others remotely and not always in physical-trainings
  5. Constantly evaluate your policies to re-align and tailor your flexibility policies to the local cultural contexts, needs and organizational goals to make it more inclusive.
  6. Departmental partnership with other teams in addition to HR team’s efforts is a step in the right direction.
  7. Flexibility policies should be known and owned by all manages and not only HR. Hiring manages should desist from verifying flexibility policies from HR, as most applicants during the interview sessions may have real needs of this policy supporting their instant decision making and positioning the organization as an ideal employer.

These percentages of talent professionals say work flexibility is important to the future of work and recruitment. In Northern Europe according to the global talent trends 85% of talent professionals say work flexibility is the future of work and recruitment. In Australia its 84%, Spain is recorded to having 83% with 75% record reported for Germany. The United States and the United Kingdom both recorded 75%. France led Canada and Southeast Asia with a 1% margin stating 72% to 71% respectively. Argentina and Netherlands recorded 69% whiles India was denoted with 76%, Brazil (66%), Middle East and North Africa ( 65%), Mexico (64%) with China recording 52%.

Look no further for support in navigating your way through in management, policy design and assessment of soft skills as a vital trend for the future. FoReal HR Services is available to offer professional business support in this regards. Write to us today [email protected] Call or WhatsApp: +233(0)262213313. We are available virtually as well.

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