We are constantly singing the praises of flexible working arrangements.
We think flexible working arrangements can – and should – revolutionise the way that people work. There’s a long list of benefits and a thirst from the modern workforce to build this new way of working into their weekly routine. In fact, recruiters Office Angels found that a quarter of Brits think the office won’t exist by 2036. Flexible working arrangements are central to making this happen.
Despite this, and a Government directive to make it difficult for employers to turn down flexible working requests, there are still some barriers to buy-in. Here’s our advice on how to overcome them to make flexible working arrangements part of your company culture.
There’s a misconception that people with flexible working arrangements may not make the best use of their time. In fact, the opposite is true. A 2016 Vodafone study found that 83% of employers felt their organisation had become more productive as a result of flexible working arrangements. The key to this is staying in touch with your team. That way, they know you are switched on and powering through your projects so you earn their trust. Highlight the benefits of flexible working arrangements. For example, a study revealed that a ‘work from anywhere’ culture could add an extra £11.5 bn per year to the UK, such as by cutting the time spent commuting.
You may be fortunate enough to be employed by a flexible working arrangements advocate. It may already form part of your working week. However, do you worry what your co-workers think of you? A poll by Harvard Business Review found that, out of the 52% of people who worked from a home office some of the time, many felt that their colleagues didn’t treat them as an equal. The most common concerns were colleagues talking negatively behind their backs, making changes to projects without letting them know or not fighting for their priorities. This is the result of a breakdown in communication. This could just as easily happen in the office if your teams are not collaborating. Unified communications will stop this from happening, no matter where you and your teams are located.
Hitting your career where it hurts
Research has found that some may view their peers as less serious about their careers if they choose flexible working arrangements. In addition, one survey found that 40.6% of those asked felt there may be negative consequences for their career. The power is in your hands to prove people wrong. Come back into the office with that report finished. Use collaboration tools to remain an active part of office discussion. Upskill yourself by using the digital resources available to you. Technology is your greatest ally.
Setting up a home office can come with its own risks. Colleagues may use the same kit for personal and professional use. Research has shown that out of 300 companies asked, 35% officially allowed employees to use their own devices for work purposes. This could possibly expose cybersecurity loopholes. In order to make flexible working arrangements pay off, take the necessary steps to invest in a robust network which can be accessed remotely as securely as it can be in-house. This is the fabric of unified communications. In addition, have strict data protection policies in place, use antivirus software, and protect sensitive data.
At eaziUC, we will bring the benefits of flexible working arrangements to your door. A free no-obligation consultation with our team will explain all.