The world has changed and continues to change. Many of us no longer work in factories where the more hours you did, the more output you achieved. Where you clocked in and out for your shift using your time cards. Thanks to technology, new industries and entrepreneurs globally solving problems, we can work from anywhere at any time. But how many organisations still watch the time spent at your desk as a judgement of whether you are achieving outcomes? This hangover from the industrial age no longer meets the requirements of employees and leads to a leaky talent pipeline, staff turnover and lower staff satisfaction levels.
Flexible Working Day on 22 May 2019 creates a national conversation.
In 2018 the Workplace Gender Equality Agency reported that 70.7% of employers have a policy or strategy for flexible working, but only 5.2% have set targets for employee engagement. Mainstreaming flexible working for all is key to advancing gender equality. The term flexible working takes on different meanings for individuals and can be applied many ways within organisations. For example:
- Wanting to work school hours
- Having the flexibility to work from home
- Working the hours needed to achieve the goals set by the organisation and being remunerated for outcomes rather than a timesheet
- Job sharing
- Being able to live out of capital cities and work for companies in capital cities
Flexible Working Day is a way to share ideas in how flexible working can be applied, what are the benefits and how to work through any challenges.
Celebrating Flexible Working Day
As Directors of Femeconomy, Jade Collins and I work remotely, four days per week with our systems hosted in the cloud and consider Femeconomy’s members as a mobile and adaptable workforce. Over time our approach to flexibility has changed to meet the needs of the business, family and other interests. We want our approach to flexibility to be flexible and to continue to evolve as the needs of our community change. To celebrate Flexible Working Day, we’re sharing how some Femeconomy members approach flexibility.
Mayvin Global Director, Deanna Varga
Mayvin Global is built on removing as many barriers as possible to facilitate women getting back into the workforce. Flexibility is key to this. By genuinely embracing different work styles, we give individuals the power and space to manage the demands of home and work in ways that suit them. In return, I get a productive and engaged workplace, satisfied clients around the globe that get attention when they need it, and access to an expert pool of consultants without being limited by geography. For me, flexibility and supporting women to get back into the workplace just makes good business sense.
This flexibility is enabled through technology, our IT support supplier, working from different time zones and also our business mentality. As such, we have consultants located in Gold Coast, regional NSW, Singapore and Sydney.
Mayvin Global Account Manager Sally Cominos Dakin said, “At Mayvin Global there is a natural fit between the business and flexible working hours. Because the work is project based, project teams do not have to be located in the same office or work the same hours to deliver outcomes for their clients. This type of project based work, is ideal for me returning to the work force, as I can continue to service clients and attend to a family and household.”
Mayvin Global specialises in unpacking and reframing issues to deliver commercial and revenue generation solutions in tourism, business events, government agencies and the arts.
Aide de MD Managing Director, Charlotte Rimmer
People’s enthusiasm for a job can usually be measured by 4 main criteria. These are uniquely individual but can include geographical location, flexibility, salary and purpose of the role. Flexibility is key as it allows for personal commitments while meeting key criteria. In my experience, I find that people offered flexibility, tend to be extremely committed to the task at hand and present in their role. Time management is good, and total commitment to the job during the hours “on” is mutually appreciated.
My client base is predominantly $2 – 10m, and are either growing rapidly, or consolidating for scaling. I recommend offering flexibility to staff to recognise longer response requirements, and to compensate for inconsistent output due to the natural ebbs and flows of business during growth. Flexible staff allow me to access highly skilled team members for the work required at a time that suits all of us. Aide de MD team members work flexible hours depending on the requirements of the business. This is only effective when there is a clear accountability framework.
Aide de MD guide and support MDs & CEOs of SMEs to grow their business through clever sustainable infrastructure, specialising in strategy, accountability, and growth planning.
Pointer Remote Roles Founder, Jo Palmer
Pointer connects employers with the best person for a role, regardless of where they live. We connect professional talent with jobs that can be conducted remotely. Offering flexibility to your employees in the form of working from home or a coworking space can be daunting. We deal with business every day who ask questions such as;
- “How do I know they are working?”
- ”Does their home office meet OH&S requirements?”
- “Is our company data secure?”
We have found that educating employees and managers alike so that everyone is on the same page is an incredible way to not only empower your employees with flexibility, but to hold onto them! Make work more flexible and then life becomes easier! Its a great way to not only attract amazing talent into your business but also to hold onto them. We are taking expressions of interest to pilot our new Flexible Work Certifications – online, self paced certifications that employees, regardless of industry can complete so that everyone in your business is on the same page when it comes to working flexibly.
Early on in my flexible career, I realised that I was going to need to build new skills. The skills that I had weren’t a perfect match for the technological trends I saw emerging in my industries. Maintaining 21st Century skills requires keeping up with learning continuously. I chose to allocate time, effort and energy to skill-building. What happened? New opportunities opened up for me. You can find out more about learning for life and skill forecasting in Barbara Oakley’s book Mindshift.
Brenda is an enthusiastic writer, digital and social marketer, and training facilitator. Her enthusiasm for business and storytelling can be traced back to a childhood spent reading, writing, and analysing the world around her. She loves helping those around her succeed.