Friday, February 3, 2017

The Trend Towards Flexi-Hours and Work From Anywhere

Talk about flexi hours has been around for some time now but the execution is slow in coming especially among the more established organizations. Start-ups somehow understand this as the new work trend and adopted it quickly. I think for the others, it’s a situation of when things don’t need fixing, you do nothing.

But when talent is scarce to come by and the ones you want to keep decided spending time with family makes more sense at certain point of their lives, employers need to give “flexi hours” a good hard look.

And frankly, it’s not so hard to implement flexi hours, thanks to technology. So if your work can be done with a phone, computer or internet line, that basically means you qualify for flexi hours.

Some time back, one of my Consultants decided to cut down on her working hours as she wished to spend more time with her young children. I have no problem introducing flexi hours because the nature of our work is such that it’s possible to work from home. If a meet up either with client or candidate needs to be done, it’s possible to schedule the appointment that suits both parties and not necessarily need to be at the office.  As for other tasks such as research and screening of candidates, the Consultant can perform them via a computer with internet access and all these can be done in the comfort of one’s home. So it was a win-win situation for us. My Consultant gets what she wanted and I managed to keep a good staff.

But certainly not all jobs qualify and make the case for flexi hours. We can’t expect a job as a Receptionist to qualify for that. If a job is office-bound, i.e., you are hired to be present at the office or the site so called your work place, such as Site Supervisor or Retail Shop Sales Assistant, then flexi-hours might not be applicable. So if your job is valued on piece-meal basis or by the results you generate and the process of how you get it done is immaterial, then flexi-hours makes huge sense. Think Writers, Programmers, Consultants and Designers.

The other factor that is worth a mention would be those that have proven to be reliable in an environment in which no or limited supervision is required. And that can only be established when an employer had already built some level of trust with the said employee, hence such implementation without doubt will be successful. 

With our work revolves around technology more and more each day, and people increasingly advocating a work-life balance, i.e., quality life, the idea of flexi hours in employment is going to be more of a reality than ever before.

In fact, people are already talking about working from our smartphones. Our whole office is in that little device, almost everything can be accomplished with it. So I guess flexi hours and work from anywhere are work trends that are here to stay.