Well, try this check list.
- is the typical day worked by most people ‘nine to five’?
- do people tend to stay in the same departments and type of roles for the duration of their career with you?
- are on-going training and skills improvement programs in place for all of your employees?
- is the IT infrastructure in place to allow staff to work from home?
If your answer to the first two questions is ‘yes’, and the last two ‘no’, then I would define your organisation as super-inflexible.
And that’s going to be a problem.
Why? Well, in a survey of 1,000 UK university leavers carried out by UK-based market research agency Redshift on behalf of mobile network Orange this year, many graduates cited that learning experiences, happiness and flexible working would be more important to them than a big salary.
I believe that graduates are just the tip of the iceberg. People’s lives in general are getting busier and busier with the demarcation lines between home and work, domestic and career, getting more and more blurred. Employees at all levels are going to need a more flexible working environment to cope.
So… far-sighted companies are going to realise this, adjust their policies and working practices and attract staff at all levels including the graduates who will become their future middle and senior managers.
And inflexible companies are going to struggle to recruit and retain key workers.
There’s some good news for the inflexible! My experience of super-inflexible companies is that they worry that unleashing more flexible working practices is going to cost not only in terms of money but also in terms of productivity. Well, inflexible CEO’s might like to know that Orange’s ‘Connected Britain’ report estimated that UK businesses could save up to £31.7bn by helping workers fulfill their ideal work life balance.
Time to let go!?
Tags: demarcation lines duration flexible working graduates happiness improvement programs key workers market research agency mobile network productivity redshift senior managers skills improvement tip of the iceberg typical day uk businesses university leavers work life balance working environment working practices