Flexible Working…Forever?

Jun 7, 2020

Flexible Working…Forever?

As most of you would know, much has been made of covid19 and its effect on the 9 – 5 life. Thankfully innovation has afforded (most of) us the convenience of remote working allowing us to continue to work from home. We have already witnessed highly reactive responses from the upper hierarchy of some of the world’s largest corporations. Such as Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey claiming that his staff are now free to work from home for the foreseeable future if they choose to do so. As well as Facebook announcing that up to half of their workforce are also free to work from home if they wish.

Many have predicted that these changes may in-fact be the future of working, and that this pandemic has simply sped up the evolution of the white collar working world. These workers of-course would appear to benefit the most from these changes. Below we take a look at the impact flexible working may have on white collar workers.

Flexible schedules

Workers can effectively take breaks at any moment or eat their lunch at any weird time they want. Remote workers are no longer confined to the office space are truly free to convert their working environment as they see fit. Breakfast at 3pm? Why not.

Saving money

If you’re the type to spend your lunch hours on a £6 baguette from Pret a Manger, no doubt you’re likely saving money at a rate most unfamiliar. Or if you live in a big city, you’re likely saving a fortune on your commute to work, as well as being able to avoid the cramped early morning/evening rush.

Time at home

One of the biggest benefits of this crisis would be the time available spent at home with families. Time taken by our professional careers has now returned in abundance allowing those with families at home to make up for lost time.

Naturally such changes also possess disadvantages such as:

Lack of control

Employers may feel a lack of control and/or awareness of the work being carried out on a flexible basis.

The human presence

A lack of contact with colleagues at the office can negatively impact the cohesiveness of teams and the exchange of ideas. Office environments can often be hubs of creativity and idea exploration as you’re able to collaborate with each other. Without co-workers present, your workers may feel a reduction in their creativity and productivity.

Communication breakdown

There may be communication breakdowns if it becomes difficult to get a hold of staff. As workers become free to construct their daily hours and routines around themselves, communication will likely be affected. Early morning risers may struggle to get the speedy responses they desire from late night owls as workers build the schedules around times which benefit them.

In conclusion,

Flexible working appears to be here for the long haul, albeit under somewhat unfortunate circumstances. In these unprecedented times, many of us are still adapting to the newfound comfort remote working brings whilst some of us are desperately clamouring for a return to the office. Perhaps we should all do our best to enjoy the advantages that this situation has brought us.

  • HR