So how you can support flexible working and elevate employee experiences in the wake of the government’s recent flexible working legislation?
Every employee in Great Britain will soon be given the right to request flexible working ‘ regardless of time served ‘ under government plans to modernise the way we work. This is a much needed step in the right direction to empower employees and prioritise not only their lifestyle choices but also take into account their working styles and optimum productivity times and environment so they can do their best work.
However, businesses cannot rely on this legislation alone. And employers must take meaningful action to ensure employees can truly work flexibly, and in a way that caters to their changing needs.
Below, I explore some of the key points every employer should consider in order to create the right working experience for their employees ‘ especially as more people embrace different working patterns. It’s crucial to note that working experience shouldn’t be limited to where, it’s also the when and how that determines the future of your people strategy.
Employee wellbeing must remain at the heart of business strategies
Business as usual is no longer an option given the impact of the pandemic. Most people’s priorities have changed, and employees now place a higher value on flexibility in the workplace.
Prior to the pandemic, 68% of employees never worked from home, but now, 91% say they’d like to be able to do so at least some of the time once the pandemic is over, according to YouGov. And in another survey by Bloomberg, 39% of employees say they’ll consider quitting if their employers aren’t flexible about remote work. And while most leaders have a black-or-white approach to hybrid working, work from anywhere shouldn’t just be home or office, it should by nature encourage working from social places like coworking spaces or Starbucks to encourage social interactions and a change of environment.
While this change in attitude has resulted in many businesses offering hybrid working to meet employee demand, it’s also becoming clear that working from home has its own set of challenges in regard to mental health. Many employees report feelings of loneliness from missing out on conversations and social interactions with colleagues that they’d usually speak with regularly.
It’s important that employers are aware of the issues that today’s workforce might face and are ready to address the challenges of wellbeing that come with remote working, in order to create a fulfilling environment that employees can succeed in long-term.
Technology can create a wholesome environment irrespective of location
The pandemic has demonstrated that collaboration with colleagues is possible without being confined to a traditional office. In its place, a new way of working has been embraced by many. And it will bode well for employers to take charge of this momentum and use technology as a strategic investment to ensure the success of their organisation’s hybrid working model.
Software like Zoom Slack and Huler have illustrated the power tech in transforming operations and bringing workforces closer together. This shows that, with the right tools, businesses can continue to create an optimum environment for their staff, where they can remain engaged from anywhere in the world and maintain a good work-life balance while working flexibly.
Equip employees for the workplace of the future
No matter how much our ways of working changes, the one constant is: happy employees always make a successful business. Because of this, employers cannot afford to ignore the employee experience.
Due to the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns that forced the majority of people to work from home, we know employee experience is more important than ever before. And this is even truer for employees working remotely.
This trend is bound to continue for the foreseeable future, so businesses must continue to utilise the tech available to positively shape company culture and cater to the needs of their employees, no matter where they choose to work from.
Employees can only be as good as the environment they work in, so equipping employees with personalised tools which supports a great employee experience and helps employees to work at their best is highly beneficial to the company in the long run.
By improving employee wellbeing, productivity and workplace culture, employers will be well on their way to creating the right employee working experience for all.