Other than the pandemic, the biggest phenomenon of 2020 has been the rise of “flexible working”. Mainly down to the various lockdown restrictions, flexible working has saved many industries during this unprecedented time.
What is flexible working?
According to GOV.UK, flexible working can be defined as a way of working that suits employee’s needs; for example having flexible start and finish times or working from home.
In Britain, all employees have the legal right to request flexible working, and employers must deal with these requests reasonably.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to adopt flexible working as their primary model. Flexible working during the pandemic, especially working from home, has allowed many employees to continue working throughout the various lockdowns.
However, when the pandemic is over, will flexible working go away? As this has been so successful, it seems more and more likely that flexible working will become a more permanent addition and part of the new normal in the post-coronavirus world.
Here is why you should expect flexible working to outlast the pandemic and continue at least throughout 2021.
Flexible working removes geographical constraints
The implementation of software and procedures which allow mass working from home can remove geographical constraints facing the modern workforce. With flexible working, employees could be based in any county, state, or country without having to travel for work.
This allows companies to hire the best people for the role – people with the most relevant experience and qualifications – without needing to consider geographical limitations.
Improve the diversity of your workforce
There are many people with varying needs – such as people who are neurodivergent or less able-bodied – who benefit from being able to work with more flexibility. This is also true for people who have dependents living at home.
Therefore, flexible working has the potential to transform the working environment of a company and allow for a lot more inclusivity. With inclusive working conditions comes the potential for a more diverse workforce, which is only ever a good thing.
Remote working doesn’t have to be from home
If you head over to a meeting and spend a couple of hours in the lobby or a nearby coffee shop typing up your notes, this would still be classed as remote working.
This means that you can use time throughout your day more productively, and not let any time go to waste. What was previously an early commute, or travel to a meeting causing overtime, can now be used for working in the same way that you would work in the office.
More flexibility for businesses
As well as being beneficial for employees, remote working can be revolutionary for businesses. Flexible working means you might be able to open your startup sooner than expected, as you no longer have any need for a permanent physical office if you don’t want it.
Therefore, overall, it is clear that flexible working is here to stay. Even when the COVID-19 pandemic is over, it is more than likely that flexible working will become the new normal.