As Aucklanders we absolutely appreciate the value of flexible working options and this is becoming an absolute top criteria for job seekers in Auckland, given our traffic and infrastructure challenges. The Kiwi lifestyle is why we see kiwis returning from overseas and others drawn to live here from all over the world and yet daily the commute times, traffic pressures and general working pace increases and thus our leisure and family time, pursuit of personal goals and balance become more and more challenging to achieve as we all struggle with the one thing we want more of …. Time!
With exposure across most of NZ’s largest businesses, we see an increasing understanding that companies need to embrace flexible working and dually – we see confusion around what this really means, what people actually want and how to balance the needs of the business and individuals.
Whilst there is absolutely no ‘one size fits all’ or silver bullet here. the reality is that being truly flexible as an employer does mean you need to consider the following:
- Technology : Does the business have the technology and provide access for people to effectively work remotely?
- Lead by example : Do your leaders in the business champion flexible working and demonstrate the success this offers?
- Is flexible working a key offering and discussion when hiring?
- Outcomes Management : Are your Managers confident, skilled and prepared to manage outcomes and people remotely? Are they on- board and can they see the value?
- Communication: Do you have a way to ensure people are connected and able to effectively communicate/come together during the week?
- Community/Team: How do you retain a sense of community and foster a culture of togetherness?
- Tackling Obstacles: Do you understand areas where you have challenges /barriers to flexible working in the business and how are you addressing these?
Whilst moving to a truly flexible working environment does not happen over night, here are some examples of businesses that really understand the concept and are looking ahead to the future of work and how this will be invariably a very different world…..
The research around the benefits vs the cons are indeed conflicting as some say that flexible working enhances engagement and others that this in fact decreases it.
People like to be with people so understanding this, we believe the world of work in the future will create a true middle ground of connectivity and times together in office/ hub spaces and then allow for remote and variable working hours outside of these hours.
Regardless of which side of the coin you are on, consider what matters to the people that you lead, the business that you work in and your personal circumstances and start asking the question:
How will flexible working impact and what does it mean to me?
Additional links to related articles of interest on this topic:
For advice on how to move your business forward, take people on this change journey and make a start by contacting Michelle & Wayne, Co – Directors at Fusion Partners.