With the Coronavirus outbreak forcing employers to consider our shared responsibility to minimise the risk of exposure and protect our individual and collective health will the benefits of agile, dynamic and flexible working finally be realised by all?
Many employers are still reluctant to encourage flexible working or allow working from home. There’s still a culture within many workplaces where the term “working from home” is uttered at the same time as virtual bunny ears/quotation marks are mimicked. These air quotes reveal a lack of trust from employers and colleagues who see working from home as ‘NOT working from home’.
However, many employees are now requesting that large percentages of their workforce stay at home as a precuationary measure and to safeguard employees. Perhaps now we’ll see an opportunity for employers to see the business benefits and the tangible boost to employee wellbeing that comes from a more flexible and progressive approach:
- The pressure on company IT systems can be assessed, and where necessary improved
- Performance outputs can be analysed with a larger than normal test pool
- Cost savings on utilities and business travel can be measured
So when employers begin to see the benefits to employee wellbeing, engagement levels and business performance will they become more receptive to making inclusive hiring decisions that have flexible and agile working at their centre?