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How has technology impacted flexible working?

How has technology impacted flexible working?

Within the new world of work, employers are recognising the growing value in flexible working. Though the way flexible working is defined differs across each business, the benefits are clearly seen amongst agile workers.

One of the biggest driving forces behind the implementation of flexible working has of course been technology. Not only has technology allowed global companies to better connect their talent across different regions and time zones, it has also shifted a change in working styles and culture.

Here are a couple things to consider when discussing technology’s impact on flexible working:

More remote workers

With remote working, technology has almost negated the need of a corporate office. As long as they are connected to the internet, employees can deliver on some form of work, whether it be attending conference calls, sharing documents, replying to emails, or writing articles.

Changing management style

The work from home model that many enterprises currently adopt has also required changing managerial styles for team leaders. A risk of remote working is that social connection may be neglecte; managers now have to oversee progress from employees they may not even know that well. That lack of social interaction and direct visibility over the individual’s workload can shift a dynamic and require a deeper need for trust. For further insight on how a manager can adapt their leadership style for remote workers, read our article here.

Blurred working hours

Because technology has facilitated many aspects of the way people work and communicate, it has paved the way for unorthodox working hours that sometimes extend beyond what is agreed on the employee’s contract. By 2020, 80% of the world’s population will own a smartphone, meaning instant connection to direct messaging platforms, social media and email.

Late night emergencies are easier to address for example – provided that the employee acknowledges the frantic texts from their boss. Technology has “banished the traditional 9-5, but if this has simply been to make way for a 24/7 culture, is this really a win?” asks Oliver Shaw, Chief Commercial Officer of Cascade HR.  Flexible working has indeed been lauded for its alleviation of the employee’s stress-levels, but it is up to how the manager takes advantage of the instant access to comms that determines how an employee can maintain a healthy work/life balance.

These concerns, as previously implied, can all be avoided with a manager who understands who to adapt to a new world of work and understands the true benefits of a work/life balance.

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