How flexible working is changing the workplace

Just as the internet transformed shopping, so too has permanent connectivity transformed the workplace. From traditional office employment to the gig economy and remote working opportunities, the typical working day for many has transformed itself over the years. Let us have a look at some specific examples.

Remote working

Workers can be sourced from much further afield – even from different countries. Depending on the nature of the work, the employee can travel to the head office as needed, once a week or monthly, for example, or they could complete all their work entirely online, using protected intranets, video chats and group emails to stay in touch with their colleagues and managers. Of course, a measure of trust is required, which is where recruitment agencies can help to weed out unsuitable candidates and ensure that those with the best credentials and skills are put forward for interview. Using employment agents to act as middlemen in the process can ensure that applicants enjoy human contact as they work their way through the early stages of the process, cutting through some of the bewildering and impersonal array of lists, forms and tick boxes that can sometimes make online applications a minefield.

Anytime working

With the ability to work from home, employees can choose their working hours outside of a tight 9 to 5 8-hour working day. Instead, early risers can check emails and make progress with projects first thing in the morning, before the rest of their household rouses, while night owls can wait until everyone else is in bed before setting to work. This flexibility usually means that employees work longer hours in total, almost without meaning to, because they are able to immerse themselves in their work as they are not fretting about school runs, activities, making meals and so on. For example, instead of one eight-hour block, a flexible worker could work for two hours first thing, three hours mid-morning before popping out for lunch and chores, another two hours before the school run, and then as many hours as they need to complete their tasks after the children’s bedtime. This can mean that sometimes up to ten hours will be put in: hours that tend to be completely productive, which is seldom the case with a solid eight-hour block (with a lunch break in the middle) in an office, when colleagues tend to chat as they work, stop for tea breaks, and sometimes check private emails or check social media.

Anywhere working

The need for fixed premises is no longer so great, and companies can often establish an entirely online database using cloud storage. This means that all the employees can work from home, while any face to face meetings can make use of shared office spaces in which a boardroom or office can be rented for anything from a few days to a few hours. This saves immensely on overheads like rent, utility bills and the insurances needed for having people in a fixed workplace. This frees up profits to invest in the best employees, chasing talent and ensuring the best hiring outcomes for your job vacancies.

These are the major transformations that flexible working has wrought on the employment process, and they are largely positive outcomes for the business in question. Of course, in every field, there will be one or two bad apples, but a stringent recruitment and training process will soon weed these out, leaving you with a strong and dedicated team.

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