The Future And Growing Influence Of Flexible Working
Written by Chris Henry-Reeve
The job economy has grown enormously in the past ten to twenty years. Thanks largely to the accelerating pace of technology and digital media, we’ve seen new industries, job titles, and working tools emerge and today the world of work is a very different place indeed.
An Office On The Beach?
Technology has undoubtedly empowered the modern working population with self-employed workers representing just over 15% of the labour force in 2017. Work can be done almost anywhere in the world and all today’s worker needs is a laptop, phone, and a good wi-fi connection. And although automation, despite the discussion it generates, hasn’t quite fulfilled its destiny of making our lives easier to the point where we’re living the much prophesied 4 hour week and spending most of our time on the beach – the growth of the freelance workforce is a positive sign that there is a better future ahead for workers everywhere.
Out of all this, another movement has interestingly gathered momentum; flexible working. Still not quite as prominent here in the U.K in contrast to the U.S.A, it’s no coincidence that we’ve seen more workers leaving behind their full-time positions to go self-employed in the search for better flexibility with their work. The sensible and modern age we now live in is a far cry away from the overworked “work hard, play hard” attitude of the eighties – Lunch is no longer for losers.
Candidates Can Pick And Choose
We’re now seeing a shift more to employees influencing the ethos of a workplace. With so much choice out there today for candidates, the importance of employee engagement is becoming paramount and employers are having to do more to inspire their workers in a long-term effort to retain their services, sustain workplace morale and improve productivity whilst remaining agile to their company’s needs. There’s now a more open dialogue between employer and employee and a big and continuing talking point is the positive effect of flexible working in the workplace.
In a recent study of UK businesses by HSBC, one of the biggest motivators for employees at work was the opportunity to work flexibly which in turn would help them be more productive in the workplace. Interestingly in the same survey, one of the reasons cited for employees leaving their last job was the poor work/life balance they had.
It's All About That Balance
With work/life balance becoming increasingly important to employees, and improved mental health in the workplace a growing importance, flexible working will continue to be a high priority for today’s workers. Now that 9 to 5 and the corporate climb are becoming outdated, flexible working will soon be the norm and more employers will embrace as time goes on.