Flexibility

18 June 2020

Flexibility

Covid-19 has completely changed the way most companies are working, taking us out of the office and to our kitchen table to work from home.

We have had to find new ways of working, hold interviews and conduct meetings. Technology has proven to be the ultimate asset, letting us communicate and carry on working.

Traditional office practices have been disrupted, and many companies may now be reconsidering their working practices where they hadn't before, examining the benefits of the office, the home and a blend of the two.

In our rapid exit from lockdown in Guernsey, returning to our ‘new normal’ sooner than expected, it will be extremely interesting to see what the future of work will become and how different sectors will approach working practices.

At OSA we have always worked with a flexible approach, some staff working earlier shifts, some from home a day a week. In this blog we are going to discuss some of the benefits of flexible working and how it can work at it's best.

 

Efficiency

We all know the saying 'quality over quantity' - studies have shown that quality of work is not dependant on the number of hours it is done in.

In countries like Finland where flexible working has been in their law for over two decades and only 5% of the population work 50 hours a week, this has proved excellent for companies, as it allows individuals to produce their best work at times that suit them, 'promoting efficiency and creativity' through working in different locations and times, a BBC report found. Efficacy and adaptability are their key priorities rather than location and long hours.

Here in the UK and Guernsey a study by HSBC of the tech sector found 89% of respondents felt flexible working was motivational and boosted their overall productivity. Employees are likely to focus better and power through tasks, rather than focusing on hour quotas.

Flexible working can also save employers money. By evaluating what the role really needs rather than assuming the standard 9-5 hours, companies can effectively hire for example someone to do 4 days a week or 15-25 hours a week. Permanent work doesn’t always have to equate to full time to get the job done.

Alternative working hours can also provide offices with better coverage, with some employees working from early morning and others until the later evening a more 'round the clock' service can be provided to clients.

 

Wellbeing and Employee Loyalty

Flexible hours have wonderful benefits for staff and company wellbeing, working to each individual's strengths and circumstance.

Agile working can also involve a general atmosphere of adaptability, allowing staff to go to medical appointments and make up the time, start half an hour early and finish early for an evening class etc.

This helps staff to feel that they are valued and seen not just as cogs in a machine, but as full people with lives outside of work (whilst still doing their required hours and tasks).

In Scandinavia flexible working is seen as a great success due to the culture of trust, boosting employee loyalty and building strong working relationships. The overall effect is better performance and a happier company. 

 

Top tip:

  • Make sure that communication is good in your company so no one feels isolated or distant if they are working at different times or from home. Technology like Teams and Skype make it much easier to stay in touch, use this so that those working from home are included in team meetings and not left out. Maybe also create a WhatsApp group for office chatter!

If you would like to know more about how flexible working can benefit your organisation, or are looking for help putting it into practice, our Business Solutions consultant Richard Hamilton can provide guidance as we move forward to our new working normal. https://osa.gg/business-solutions/.

Richard is an experienced business consultant and comes from an HR and learning background. He has helped businesses manage organisational change, shape company performance, culture and values. All of Richard's services are entirely tailored to your company needs not a one-size-fits-all approach. With a focus on honesty, integrity, clarity and respect Richard can work with you to achieve your goals.