One of the most unhelpful phrases of the last twenty or so years is ‘work life balance’.

Inherent in that phrase is the notion that work is bad, life is good and that they can be compartmentalised. 
 
Here’s a question. What was Archimedes doing when he had his Eureka moment – was he working or just having a bath? 
 
And what about Newton under his tree – maybe he was just having a bit of a doss but luckily for him and us he was actually helping us understand our universe in ways we had never done before.  
 
So
in our always connected, always on, age, for most people the boundaries between work and life are impossible to separate.

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Our last dinner before lockdown was with our RPO Leaders group and one of the key themes we talked about was the rise of dynamic working.  
 
Whilst back then it was a concept that was still evolving, it does seem that in a little over three months, it is an idea whose time has come. 
 
This isn’t the same as flexible working which, although it has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years, is typically a limited type of flexibility – perhaps different working hours or different numbers of days worked or a set number of days at home but essentially built around a structure where the employee needs approval to change 
 
Dynamic working on the other hand is the ability for an employee to be trusted to do the job from wherever and whenever they feel most comfortable and effective. 
 
And one undeniable benefit from the Covid crisis is that so many organisations have been forced into allowing this to happen.  And for so many different roles, it has completely destroyed the argument that ‘you need to be in the office to do that job’.  
 
Obviously, this doesn’t work for every role and it doesn’t suit every person; for many people, especially younger people, the frequent interaction with their colleagues is a hugely important part of their lives. 
 
Likewise, the hidden mental health challenges of remote working are being recognized more widely, for some this can quite literally mean out of sight, out of their mind, but there is a lot of evidence that employers are aware of this and are building better support networks as a result.  
 
However, overall, I think this period of enforced home working will also prove to be an absolute boon for employers who can reduce their office space and hopefully have a more engaged workforce, there are benefits for society more generally as we cut down on unnecessary commuting and international travel and resources. 
 
And for employees who can have real flexibility in their working patterns it will make their lives richer and more fulfilled.  
 
But, of course it won’t happen by accident.  
 
For employers looking to better understand how their current flexible working arrangements compare to the market and their specific sector, it is one of the areas we look at as part of our TA benchmark programme. https://benchmark.talint.co.uk/
 
And since our dinner back in March, we have had a subsequent online session not just with our RPO leaders but also with a panel of large employers and the there are some other interesting findings in the other link. https://www.talint.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/RPO-Report.pdf
 
It’s a perfect morning coffee read from wherever you happen to be. 

 

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