Covid-19 and the big financial crisis mean that times are changing and in turn, the way we work has changed beyond recognition for most people. A new normal is approaching and flexible and remote working are at the forefront of business minds.
As a flexible working advocate, this feels like a pivotal moment for positive change. A number of businesses are extending their working from home policies and are beginning to question the makeup of their workforce. The future holds promise for flexible working, a new and improved way of life.
However, businesses still have questions to ask as they live test these new ways of working; how do we maintain good communication? How do we encourage and maintain a solid sense of positive company culture? We’re finding ourselves right in the middle of a period of re-education, reanalysis and reconsideration, and there are big decisions to be made.
Business expenditure is often at the top of the list and redundancies are being made. Fewer people are working and large portions of the population are working from home. Our streets and cities are empty. Everyone is being affected, from food vendors to cafe owners, office space landlords to transport systems and local services.
Who can you afford to lose? These kinds of conversations can be traumatising for everyone involved and yet if we don’t have them, then everyone ends up going, which is even worse. These cuts inevitably result in a loss of skills, but perhaps going unnoticed is the loss of the small skills that aren’t needed all the time. For example, perhaps there’s a marketing employee who does some copywriting on the side. It’s alright to let them go until the writing is needed a couple of months later.
The reality, of course, is that you cannot maintain a whole full-time member of staff to do a small or irregular task. But these things still need to be done. The flexible workforce is prepped and ready to rise up and meet these gaps. Flexible working is the future. The solution to the problem as it arises.
People’s expectations of the working world have changed. We want more control over our lives as a society and flexible working provides this. Flexible working is a win-win, flexible staff members get the freedom they need to suit their specific life situation, wants and needs, and businesses get an employee who can flex and shrink according to its growth needs and in response to client changes.
Flexible working opens up resources across the globe and provides business and workers with exactly what they need when they need it, freeing them from wasteful and ultimately inefficient full-time contracts. It’s this ability to dip in and out of resources that draws businesses to subscribe to us monthly at That Works For Me.
And though this can be hugely beneficial to both small and large businesses, it’s my prediction that it will be the small businesses that see these advantages and make use of them wisely.