……it’s just not evenly distributed.
Apologies to William Gibson for both appropriating and amending his quote.
Last week I shared on social media that I was really rather chuffed to be writing a book for Kogan Page, entitled ‘The Flexible Working Revolution’.
I have been inundated with connections keen to share the awesome stuff they are doing at their organisations in the name of flexibility. I am looking forward to featuring some of these stories in the book in due course.
But this morning, the TUC shared the output from a recent poll that found that 1 in 3 flexible working requests are turned down. I have also received comments from people in recent days, keen to share their horror stories when attempting to achieve even a small amount of flexibility in their working lives.
It’s clear that some organisations get the benefits of flexibility, not just for working parents as so often so stereotyped, but for wellbeing, inclusion, talent acquisition, retention and employee engagement. But there are others that start from a position of no, of distrust, of flexism.
Flexible working is in high demand, but more people want it than are able to achieve it. I believe that flexible working is a key part of the future of work. While some people are already embracing it, there are others that will continue to resist despite increasing evidence that this will be a talent risk.
Like with most new innovations or ways of working, the late majority will catch up – eventually. But while we wait for them to do so, the talent might just have up and moved to somewhere more flexible instead.
Flexible working is already here. Where are you?
This is super interesting Gemma! Working in startups it is easy to fall into an echo chamber around these types of policies. We recently polled 200 UK small companies (representing ~8000 team members) on their flexible working policies and the data backed up your title that flexible working is already here:
– 81% supported working from home
– 66% supported flexible hours
– 49% offered remote work
– A smaller 21% offered core office hours
That TUC stat is an important perspective to add context to these types of polls. Feel like it’s important we’re not always preaching to the choir!