'Never has there been a greater need for flexible working'

Due to the spread of COVID-19 and more and more employers backing remote working, one CEO has said this is now the perfect time to fully implement flexible working.

Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent believes last minute implementation of flexible working can create issues and so gives his tips on how best to do it.

They are:

  • Banishing bad attitudes towards flexible working

“Whilst businesses have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, there still remains a certain stigma surrounding flexible working practices. To support employees, and get the most out of them, businesses must start to recognise flexible working as a positive choice. After all, three quarters (77 per cent) of those who work flexibly would agree it helps them work more productively. They are also more likely to be engaged and yield significant advantages for employers – potentially generating 43 per cent more revenue and improving performance by 20 per cent, compared to disengaged employees.”

  • Encouraging the setting of boundaries

“Flexible working patterns can often make workers feel like they need to be switched on 24/7 and this can lead to significant mental burnout of an individual if not addressed and managed. For parents, working flexibly means constantly switching roles between care-giver and professional. Initially, this may mean that they seem slightly less present. Giving them time to work out and negotiate their needs, and remembering that in the long run, them saying ‘no’ when something isn’t possible, will be more efficient than saying ‘yes’ and burning out.”

  • Exploring new ways to collaborate

“Working remotely can be lonely and lead to a feeling of disconnect between employees and their organisation. Here, the use of collaborative messaging and social tools can bring workforces together, even when they are not present in the same room. Virtual tools can be another great way of communicating with co-workers and keeping the line of communication flowing.”

  • Offering ongoing coaching and support

“Coronavirus shouldn’t get in the way of developing your talent. By offering virtual coaching and support solutions, individuals are able to thrive when working both at home and in the office. Easy access to instant and virtual coaching, from video master classes to interactive tools, tips and an online community can all help to keep workers engaged, whilst giving them the necessary tools to broaden their knowledge pool. Reporting that helps to measure success and progress within these programs can also provide businesses with valuable insight into the ongoing needs of their organisation.”