How do we help flexible working?
Hours, work patterns or locations are common elements of discussion when employees and employers negotiate flexibility. Depending on the industry, role or role requirements, there will often be a need to consider at least one aspect where flexible working arrangements are required.
The term ‘work-life balance’ has been a very trendy topic in the last few years, but digital ‘motivational addicts’ have challenged it by saying it’s not possible to achieve since working hours make the majority of people’s day and week. Would you agree? Does it mean the work/life balance cannot be achieved?
Flexible Working Day recently found the following ;
- 48% of companies do not have flexible work policies
- 75% of part-time roles are held by women
- 79% new dads and 85% woman want to work flexibly
- 27% of men and 49% of woman experience discrimination when returning from parental leave
- 45% of millennials or Gen Y choose flexibility over pay.
So, what now?
It’s about building a secure, comfortable and flexible working environment. Blogs, articles, TED talks and training research studies sessions are showing that even the ‘big bucks’ can’t poach a good employee if he or she is happy with their current position.
There is another ongoing debate about the time spent at work and employee satisfaction. Yes, you can work overtime, and your family might miss you, but there is a difference between a satisfied employee who arrives home a bit later but content, and one who comes home at 5.00 depressed, stressed and worried.
Unified Communications – you don’t have to be present, just ‘dial-in’.
It’s a simple rule, and we apply it daily, more precisely every morning at 8.30 and 8.46. If we can’t attend a specific meeting, we just dial-in. If that’s not possible (on rare occasions), we pass our daily agendas or ‘roadblocks’ to the person in charge. If you are late and you don’t dial in on time, ‘the punishment’ is $5, which goes towards our ‘savings’ for Friday drinks.
Need to discuss it but can’t arrange the meeting and it’s not ‘e-mail material’?
A typical situation. We use our Communicator to form quick group chats if we need to discuss something. Again, we don’t have to be in the same physical location. You might think that group chat is a common thing these days, but companies rarely use it as they don’t find messaging apps ‘professional’ or ‘business facing’. Unified Communications gives it a ‘corporate feel’ while keeping the style of communication relaxed and flexible.
Your mobile phone and your computer are synced, what about your desk phone?
Unified Communications finally allows your desk phone to join the ‘cool group’. So, go ahead and pull that call to your computer or the other way around.
Video conferencing or training
Every 14 days, we invite our partners to join us for a 30-40-minute training session of the latest SASBOSS features or ‘how-to’s’. On a daily basis, we use our screen sharing capability to help train them and navigate around different features.
Flexism and the Flexible Working Day
The International calendar of important days communicates identified causes/days across the globe, and flexible working joined the calendar on 6th of June. #FWDay, #FlexWorkFullLife, #GenderFlexGap and #TackleFlexism are some of the hashtags used for promoting this cause. The term ‘flexism’ is used for those who still have a lack of trust when it comes to implementing this change in our working environments.
In our Cloud ISDN whitepaper, we mentioned how flexibility has been a part of the Fair Work Act for a long time now. Flexible Working Day points out that technology, families and work organisation has changed, but our 9 – 5, Monday – Friday lifestyle has stayed the same. So clearly, we still have a long way to go.
Juggle Strategies, our work-flexibility partners, defined four critical success factors for implementing flexible working – Trust, Mindset, Communication and Outcome performance management.
Trust and Mindset can be most challenging; the challenge is not only about convincing managers that work flexibility is good for the organisation (not just the employees), but that a positive mindset will be driven through that trust. And we all know how mindset can fuel or block change.
We are happy to say that at Access4 we have that trust and mindset and that we actively work to build on this foundation. We also advocate flexible working among our partners, and we hope that our product will be one of the primary tools for business environments to make this change more manageable.