We’ve been talking a lot in this blog about our 2020 Vision; that is, how we think the workplace of the future will function. At Company Net, we find the technology behind this fascinating and inspiring, but how will these changes impact your employees?
Today’s blog is a guest post from Amie Stevense here at Company Net, who is interested in looking at the implications of our 2020 Vision for your workforce:
I read a comment on LinkedIn recently which prompted me to participate in the discussion, something I haven’t often done. Later, I found I was still pondering the ideas behind it and so decided to write a blog post in response. Let me explain. The original comment was someone displaying frustration that companies are still not endorsing flexible working despite the fact we have some fantastic technology to allow us to do this easily. As someone working in the HR department of an IT company, you can imagine my dismay at reading this! I responded as you might expect someone in my position employed in a flexible working environment. I won’t bore you with the details, they’re not relevant here. The thing that really surprised me was the next comment to follow; someone who seemed truly upset and indeed, discouraged by the idea of flexible working.
The arguments against it were thought provoking and had some value, and for me highlighted something much bigger: that flexible working is a fantastic thing if it’s used correctly. I could talk to you for hours on the benefits this company sees by endorsing flexible working, made possible through mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Like making a cake, when you combine these things with Microsoft’s Office 365, Lync and the Cloud, you have the perfect environment to promote flexible working for your organisation. So why the grunts of dismay? The comment stated that it’s not possible for every person to work flexible hours; that there is no line between work and personal life; that not everyone can have a task orientated day, and what about if you have to be in the office for a meeting?!
Good points, right?
They are valid points, but only in organisations that endorse flexible working, but don’t handle it in the right way. Flexible working is about being flexible - not home all the time or in the office all the time, but a mixture of the two. It’s about being able to take a day off when your kids are sick but still being able to get important work done. For me, there should be no question of the fact that if you have a meeting you need to be in the office, surely that’s obvious. But, in the same vein, if you need to be at home to let the plumber in it shouldn’t mean you have to take a day’s holiday. Just log in to Office 365 to access all your emails and work, sign into Lync to communicate easily with all your colleagues and, theoretically speaking, you are in the office. I appreciate that there will always be some work places that would struggle to promote flexible working, but I don’t believe that just because some people can’t partake in it, everyone should dismiss it. With a huge percentage of the population based in offices, these negative thoughts need to be addressed. If one person has voiced concerns, others will be thinking them too.
It has to be about give and take. Flexible working should never, ever mean ‘never leaving work’ or ‘only task orientated work can be done if working for home’. It saddens me to see people worry about that, or indeed experience that. Here at Company Net we want to lead by example. Not only do we promote flexible working, and experience a huge success rate with it, but we can also help other organisations implement it successfully. From supporting you with the technologies to advising you on the best methods of implementation, we’ve got it covered. Don’t let something with the potential to be absolutely brilliant end in disaster because the correct policies and technologies haven’t been put in place to protect both the organisation and your staff! Begin something on the right foot, and chances are your journey to a flexible working organisation will be a smooth one.
Now, I’ve been working from home this morning on this, so I guess it’s time to change out the PJ’s and make my way into the office…sounds nice? It could be you!