Published On: September 2, 2019
How is smart working enabling better mobility and versatility for employees wanting a more flexible working life?
With the proliferation of WIFI, laptops, smartphones and technology in people’s homes, “smart working” is easier than ever before. The traditional business model of employees being at their place of work between the hours of 9am to 5pm is being seen more and more as restrictive and often as unnecessary.
Generally, if you treat employees with a high degree of respect and responsibility they will respond in kind. So, by saying to an employee “I trust you to manage your time to work effectively” you’re effectively telling them you trust in their abilities and self-management and in return develop a better working relationship.
It also creates mobility and flexibility that the standard office working model doesn’t allow for. Talented employees who need to move to a new city for family or other reasons previously would move to company if there wasn’t the option of a transfer. Smart working can help retain their skills and experience. Employers can cast a wider net when looking for new talent, key staff can be hundreds of miles apart.
Smart working can also offer the versatility needed to balance work and home life issues such as childcare, managing the school run and other family commitments can be accommodated.
There is of course a concern that with staff spread over the UK, not in a central office that the feeling of camaraderie and teamwork might not be there. The meeting of minds is only a Skype meeting away, where people can discuss ideas, update each other and importantly laugh, having a virtual “water cooler moment”.
An important point to note is that flexibility doesn’t mean no accountability. In the technology world that we live in lots of things can be measured, from your CRM software to your production systems – if output increases through flexible working then everyone is happy.
Another flag worth waving is that with flexible working comes the danger of people not switching off, where work and home life blend. Are we developing habits that will come back to haunt us? Creating the right culture and working practises are important, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
A final example of the benefits of smart working? I wrote this piece at the garage whilst getting new tyres!