New Year: Future of Work Pioneer

2020 has been a huge year for change and pivoting of priorities. (Forced) remote working has become the norm, this has huge implications for how and where you work and the employers you can work for too.

Some of us have had time to take stock, others have been working flat-out through the whole of 2020, riding the waves of change. This first few months of lockdown pivoting businesses, the next few month keeping employees engaged and the following few months looking at structures and change moving forwards. Working at this pace is not sustainable, so check that your leaders and senior management team are not moving towards burnout. Flexible working options could be a solution for that potential problem. 

There is no doubt that 2020 has fast forwarded the flexible working movement and here’s some research by academics from Cardiff University and the University of Southampton gathered for the first analysis of employee survey data focusing on homeworking, which was gathered for Understanding Society Covid-19 Study.  (Thanks for sharing 

  • Two-fifths of employees get as much work done while working at home
  • More than a quarter said that they got more done at home
  • Home-working in the future is likely to boost rather than reduce productivity
  • 88 per cent of employees who worked at home during lockdown would like to continue working at home in some capacity

As an employer, perhaps it’s time to look at other flexible working options which means you can hire extraordinary talent for a fraction of the usual cost. Also, flexible working options might mean that you can manage employee transition more wisely, for example, instead of making one employee redundant you could have 2 employees work half time. Sometimes two-way conversations with employees can lead to thoughtful and intelligent solutions where one employee might move into flexible working for phased retirement and another might work part-time to manage a blog or side gig outside of work.  

There are other resourcing solutions currently too, such as the Kickstarter scheme and the apprenticeship programme is in full swing in January too.

2020 has been the year of remote working but what about the other forms of flexible working

Flexible working is the term used for any type of employment that allows flexibility with hours. It allows the employee to work the hours they desire or need for a better work-life blend. We call it agile working. Types of flexible working include:

  • Part time week – where an employee reduces the number days they work for example 3 days per week.
  • Part-time days – where an employee reduces the number of hours worked in a day. For example 9.00 a.m. to 2.30 pm.
  • Term time working – working during term time only.
  • Holiday time working – working during school holidays only – ideal for students and school children.
  • Nine-day fortnight – working 9 full days instead of 10 over a fortnight.
  • Compressed hours – where an employee works the same number of hours but over fewer but longer days. For example, Monday to Thursday 8.00 until 6.00 with half an hour for lunch.
  • Annualised hours – an employee has a set number of hours they can work in a year. Some may require “core hours” to be worked (such as 10-4 on certain days) but other hours are flexible. For example, accountants might work core hours usual weeks and then they work more in January key tax times.
  • Flexitime – as above, the employee may require working “core hours” but the rest are flexible to the employee’s needs.
  • Short-term / medium term contracts or assignments.
  • Phased retirement – an employee can now choose when they want to retire, meaning they can reduce their hours and work part time instead of retiring completely.
  • Job sharing – this is where two or more people share the same job. Job sharing is not 2 people working part-time jobs in parallel – that’s part-time work. Job sharing is 2 people, through shared responsibilities, identities and accountability occupying 1 position. They are a single unit, a team and a complete resourcing solution.
  • Working from home – an employee can work some or all of their time at home or somewhere other than their normal place of work.

If you need to make redundancies in your organisation or structural changes, we are giving back this December and January and running an initiative called #BeInspiredGetHired and it’s running on Facebook and LinkedIn currently.  The purpose of the campaign is to get individuals to apply for 50 roles in 50 days to increase their chance of landing a role by the end of January.

Believe it or not, December is a great month to get hired and it means people’s job search will be very advanced by the beginning of 2021.

It won’t cost anything to belong and it is a kind of job search club which should mean that job search fatigue can be avoided. It’s for professionals who have worked for more than 7 years.

So if you know anyone who is looking for work currently, please pass this forward and let them know about our initiative, it will be fun working in a group and should fast forward their job search.  And if they are between roles at the moment, it’s a great time to upskill or reskill alongside a job search. There are many FREE online courses currently and you can gain certifications. Check out LinkedIn Learning or Google Digital Garage.

The link for #BeInspiredGetHired is here

Please tell everyone you know who is looking for work currently!

 -- Sarah Taylor Phillips