“If we can tap into people’s newfound energy to create something bigger and better than before, we can leave the worst parts of work behind to create a better normal for all of us.” David Rock, CEO, NeuroLeadership Institute
We have achieved more around working flexibly in the last five months than we have in the last five decades. Since the concept was first introduced in the 1970s, barriers have been consistently thrown up by more traditionally minded leaders, but lockdown has meant that we have finally smashed through these – in the blink of an eye.
It’s not that flexible working hadn’t been gaining traction in recent years; the truth is that pre-lockdown, there was still significant stigma attached to it. Sadly, reduced or flexi-hours were largely assumed to be the domain of working mums, with a whiff of low career ambition about them, while remote working was seen to equal ‘probably shirking’ and was only something granted to your most trusted team members.
But even for the most cynical of employers, it was patently clear before the pandemic that our pace of working life was unsustainable. With our teams bearing the brunt of hyper-procured fees and squeezed margins, their health, wellbeing, productivity and creativity were all being stretched to breaking point. Something had to change. Then the universe stepped in….