One of the very few advantages of the COVID-19 pandemic is that more businesses are now endorsing flexible working hours.
The concept of flexible hours at work can be seen from a two-fold perspective. From one point of view, a working day may be scheduled according to the hours that benefit the employee, just as long as the amount required is reached. On the other hand, there is another perspective, which would allow employees to spend as much hours as they prefer at the office, with the remaining being worked remotely.
Large and international organisations today are embracing flexibility in the workplace, sparing their employees from stringent boundaries. Such companies include Google, Facebook and Twitter which have adopted policies aimed at providing workplace flexibility to their employees through improved remote working procedures. Another large organisation, PricewaterhouseCoopers has announced that employees can work from home for a number of days a week and they can start as early or late as they like. An evolving workplace trend following the pandemic is expected to see employees with more control over their working patterns. It is very clear to see that with the way things are developing, workplace flexibility will become the norm, not the exception. Through such an approach, people will feel more trusted and empowered.
Although workplace flexibility is indeed a welcome development, it would be folly to think that we can ever achieve a one size fits all approach. A significant number of employees are now experiencing fatigue related to working from home. In this regard, many would not take too kindly to being forced to working from home once the pandemic subsides.
Another disadvantage related to a predominantly remote working model is that work-life balance may be harder to achieve. Considering that employees would be using their familiar surroundings to work, it may be quite difficult to detach. Parents may recall a negative experience when working from home, with kids also engaged with online lessons, which presents its own challenges and distractions.
Whilst flexible working is being endorsed by many large businesses internationally, there are those who are still sceptical. The Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs refers to working from home as out of the norm, stating that direct contact and mentorship needed can only be achieved through an office environment.
What do you make about flexible working? What is your preferred way to work? Let us know your thoughts and views in the comments section below.