Skills HR will need in 2021: Making flexible working work  

16 January 2021:

You must stay at home.” That was the order from prime minister Boris Johnson when he announced in March that the country was to start a period of lockdown measures in an attempt to control the rapid spread of Covid-19. It was these five words that instigated companies across the UK scrambling to issue laptops, purchase Zoom licences and create entire flexible working policies in a matter of days, as well as employees clearing their kitchen tables or setting up desks in their spare rooms in a bid to find somewhere suitable to do their jobs from home.

But while this new way of working has been foisted upon many people against their will, there have been upsides. For some, enforced remote working has caused them to reassess their long commute and, for others, the need to juggle a full-time job with homeschooling has led to a new appreciation of flexible hours. It’s no surprise, then, that according to the Forever Flex: Making flexible working work beyond a crisis report by Flex Appeal and construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine, more than seven in 10 (72 per cent) employees want to continue working from home after the pandemic; a similar proportion (70 per cent) want to carry on working flexitime; and 64 per cent want to keep part-time hours.

But implementing so-called ‘vlexible’ (virtual and flexible) working measures during a global pandemic is a very different ball game to doing so in ‘normal’ times. So how can HR make sure any remote working, flexitime, job share or compressed hours policies they put in place are fit for the business’s future long after Covid has abated? People Management explores four key areas that need to be considered…

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Source: People Management

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