Is Working 9-5 an Urban Myth..?
...So it seems with the changing attitude to working hours. Research by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) looked into how flexible working was considered by managers.
A majority 94% of organisations already offer flexible working, making it the ‘new normal’. In fact, many have worked beyond 9-5 in the past few years.
The figures* speak for themselves:
And there are no gender inequalities; men and women are just as likely to work flexibly*:
Limitations of flexible work*
- 48% said it causes resentment in the workplace
- 38% said it could lead to uneven work distribution
- 41% stated it could cause issues with clients
Benefits of flexibility*
- 85% said it increases wellbeing
- 78% found it improved staff retention
- 67% stated it cut down staff absence
- 65% responded it boosts staff morale and commitment to the company
- 62% believes it helps their company to effectively respond to customer needs
Challenges of flexible work*
- 20% responded that senior management didn’t take to it well
- 24% thought it was considered to limit career prospects
- 27% stated it wasn’t thought to be apt for managers
- 31% found colleagues were critical about flexible work
- 36% suggested that another approach was necessary to manage performance
Managing flexible working
The benefits appear to outweigh the perceived challenges of flexible working. So, will you consider it for your organisation? Managing employees who work remotely can be an issue. So it’s vital you communicate effectively with them with clear instructions of the outstanding work. Plan ahead what needs to be done and how these targets will be achieved. Also, gain your employee’s feedback on how they think flexible work could be improved for them, and the organisation as a whole.
Working nine to five is no longer the norm. So rather than resist change and limit your staff’s potential, consider embracing flexible working - but do not underestimate the importance of performance management strategy.
One key solution to addressing this is up-skilling your senior management with strong 'on the job' coaching skills (as opposed to more formal coaching skills covered on most coaching courses), especially the ability to coach 'in the moment' on the phone as well as face-to-face. These skills allow you to leverage and motivate staff remotely.