Flexible working – the New Norm?
03/08/2021

As an employer, do you have the necessary insights to inform your decision-making regarding new Working Arrangements?

FOTP QuickPulse (when you need rapid feedback)

With the introduction and adoption of more flexible working, by definition, there is a need to have a structured communication plan in place to continue to foster a sense of community and belonging amongst your colleagues. This can be in multiple forms, all virtual; team meetings, coffee mornings, one on one’s etc. In addition, there is also a need to establish a conduit to gather regular feedback from you colleagues on Flexible working. This is where FOTP Research come in and can help you develop and establish a regular feedback system.

Whilst clients could undertake this work themselves, there are clear benefits in objectivity and anonymity by using an outside agency, coupled with the client’s time saved by ‘outsourcing’ the work.

We have developed and introduced FOTP QuickPulse as a process to gather and provide insights when there is a need to receive the rapid feedback. The process is quick, straightforward and cost effective

Flexible working – the New Norm?

Copious amounts have been written and said about the impact of COVID on our working environment, working lives and working practices. Clearly, in the initial stages of the pandemic and throughout the various lockdowns, working from home became the norm for many businesses/functions/jobs, as there was no viable alternative. As ‘things get back to normal’, how do you balance the expectations of your colleagues, vs. the needs of the company. Should your colleagues continue to work from home, be encouraged to come back to the office or be allowed to choose. Should that choice be that of the employer, employee or both?

Things you may be considering:

  • Environment – Do your colleagues have a suitable home environment from which to work. For instance, a separate office/work area with suitable equipment.
  • Culture – Organisations have/develop a culture over time. How would/could this culture change given a greater degree of flexible working and what could be the impact?
  • People and benefits/disadvantages of working from home:
    • Organisation and self-motivation – Experience suggests that to work at home effectively, colleagues need to be organised, self-motivated and not easily distracted!
    • Social aspect of work – There is no doubt that the social aspect of work is important and should be considered. Depending on life stage, this may be more important to some rather than others
    • Isolation – Permanently working from home can foster a sense of isolation and therefore colleagues’ mental health can become an issue and should be considered
    • Cost savings when working from home – For instance, the savings by not commuting at all or as frequently, together with not buying that daily cup of coffee!
    • Time-saving by not having to commute
  • Technology – is no longer a barrier and is readily available and affordable to facilitate working from home. Do your colleagues have all the necessary equipment?
  • Efficiency – Face to face meetings. Are these more productive or less productive. If more productive, how do you ensure everyone is in the same place at the same time
  • Training & Mentoring – Is this as efficient and effective if only done remotely Hiring – Is this as efficient and effective if only done remotely
  • Productivity – How can this be measured remotely. Monitoring conjures up images of surveillance and could trigger all sorts of privacy issues. However, there is a need to understand levels of productivity. More and more this would need to be based on output, rather than input or time spent at work. Inherently, enabling/allowing colleagues to work from home implies a greater degree of mutual trust.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you in gathering Employee feedback, contact Andy Kemp-King: