Flexible working – is it working for you?
There was an interesting discussion on LinkedIn last week which got us thinking. Employers have, in the main, embraced flexible working and we are all reaping the benefits: less commuting time, more productive hours, more time with our children/loved ones, and more time for exercise/hobbies/’me’ time. This is all good, right? Maybe not….
The LinkedIn post was from a woman who said that, now she’s working flexibly, she’s invariably ‘always on’. She finds herself responding to emails, answering calls and sending Teams messages in the most unlikely of places and at all hours of the day and night. The example she gave involved balancing a laptop on her knee and answering calls during one of her few train commutes. She used to spend that time listening to a podcast or reading a book. She argued that the effectiveness of the work she achieved during that time was probably fairly poor but she feels that she should be able to ‘work from anywhere’. This could equally be applied to waiting for your children to finish a swimming lesson or walking around the supermarket on your weekly shop. Technology gives us access to business communications ‘on tap’.
Do we need to hit the pause button more often?
We’ve noticed that everyone has different versions of downtime. Some people feel more comfortable responding to emails as soon as they arrive, no matter what time that is, whilst others would prefer to keep work to 9-5. That’s the beauty of flexible working – it provides the choice. What’s important, we think, is that employers recognise that for performance to be effective, employees need to be TRUSTED and EMPOWERED to do what works for them. If an employee feels trusted and valued, their loyalty and commitment will grow and we’re pretty confident that performance will improve too.
What’s your experience? We’d love to hear about it. Comment below or send us a message.