Viewpoint — Flexible Working: The New Reality

By Elizabeth Roberts, Head of Interim Consulting

Download the complete Viewpoint here.

Key Takeaways:
+ Flexible working is here to stay; not only a millennials phenomenon. 
+ If businesses and their leadership aren’t ready to fully embrace this movement, they risk falling behind. 
+ It especially suits project work, whereby productivity and output is measured by outcomes and not time.

In the wake of Brexit and overall uncertainty and volatility across the financial industry, now is the time for financial services firms to fully embrace flexible working.

Flexible working is not simply the “work from home/anywhere” movement of technology startups – which is sometimes worth the parody it receives – but a commitment to utilising senior talent without the drawbacks of long term or full-time commitment. Flexible consultants aren’t tied to a desk or to standard work hours and are utilised often on a project or as-needed basis dependent on their skillsets. The changes in the workforce are visible for the millennials as they soak up the technology to enable complete freedom of working. At the other end, it is the senior, experienced community who are enjoying a surge of demand for their experience and knowledge of what works and what pitfalls to look out for, delivered without an agenda or desire to further build their career.

In the UK, flexible working is now a top agenda item for many organisations, with CEOs (large corporates, niche or start-ups), often queuing this higher on their Board agendas than diversity and inclusion. With the UK Government’s introduction of flexible working framework in 2014, we have seen an uptick in businesses proactively seeking alternative ways to achieve the same or greater productivity of their senior workforce. While the most prominent reason for individuals requesting flexible working is maternity or childcare, there is an ever increasing movement of senior leaders leaving their permanent posts and engaging with businesses on a flexible, short or long term or adhoc basis in order to explore an interest, study, sport or simply travel the world. This brings together the skills of the individual to a business in a fluid and dynamic way.

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For more information, contact Elizabeth Roberts, Head of Interim Consulting, at eroberts@sheffieldhaworth.com.