An article in HR Magazine this Month profiled a book titled Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work by interviewing one of the authors about the concept of future work. Defined as "...work that is driven by business goals and led from the top. It gives people autonomy over where, when and how they work. It's about treating people as adults and trusting them."
This concept is driven from current leadership thinking (the theorist call it Theory Y Leadership) that people can and should be trusted, contrasted with the old style of leadership (Theory X) that focuses on command and control. The author argues that command and control is no longer the "currency in the workforce of the future".
Many of us still struggle with concept of flexible work, allowing people the autonomy to work when, where and how that they want to. We are geared towards thinking that we pay people for time in a seat at an office instead of for the work and results the achieve. However, many people are making a business case for flexible work arrangements.
Why do it?
- Increased productivity
- Increased loyalty which leads to lower turnover
- Lower costs (in office space, equipment, hiring and recruiting costs due to reduced turnover)
- Lowered risk of business disruption
How to do it
Here are some options for flexible work taken from "The Business Case for Flex" HR Magazine (April 2012)
Compressed schedule. Extending the start and finish times to compress scheduled hours into fewer days.
Reduced hours. Working fewer than the standard work hours.
Flex place. Routinely working away from the assigned office, including working from home, a remote office or a satellite location.
Job share. Sharing a position with another employee on an ongoing basis.
Interested in experimenting with flexible or future work? What would be your first step to implement? Already gone down the flex route? What benefits have you seen?