March 15, 2020

War for Talent Wellness… I mean Toilet Paper!

Ariane Virtue

It shouldn’t take a global pandemic for firms to see the benefits of flexible working…should it? At present, 80 countries have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

This morning a Sydney school closed, more Aussies stranded on another cruise ship, Clayton Utz in Sydney have sent all their employees to work remotely yesterday due to precaution for their wellness.

Thanks to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, remote working is no longer an entitlement, it is essential. Working remotely is a start… some businesses do it well, some will need to go further, and others will be left behind. Will that be you?

The clients that have engaged with Flex We Are this week are preparing for restricted global and domestic travel, office closures to enable whole teams to work remotely while delivering on their required output and staying connected in with their company, leaders, peers and customers.  

For some leaders the idea of flexible work is likely to conjure up images of pyjama clad employees sporadically answering emails in between watching re-runs of Modern Family. The reality, of course is much different.

When flexible work is implemented well companies reap the advantages of more productive and engaged employees with an empowering and trusting culture. Having a less flexible working practices not only creates resentment but will reduce employee’s effectiveness and productivity – and of course exposure to potential illnesses. When flexible working is normalised and embedded well, becoming part of the internal and external culture, it has no doubt improved productivity & diversity, increased employee engagement (more discretionary effort) and retention, improved wellness with fewer sick days and mental health leave.  

In this current climate – this is a no brainer, right?

Organisations around the world are changing the way that they work, the interviewing process or hold conferences. As coronavirus concerns grow and to mitigate the risk of infection Amazon (US) is shifting from on-site interviews to video for some job openings and has further restricted travel among its employees – domestically and internationally.

Global conferences are being affected and leading by example the Salesforce World Tour Sydney took place virtually via livestream on 4 March 2020. “…The safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, and community is our number one priority. By making World Tour an online experience, it eliminates the need for attendees to attend in person and travel to Sydney while enabling them to still benefit from the event content…”

What an ingenious approach to still delivering the prepared content and amazing speakers – I watched!  

We constantly need to be innovative about the way we work, the use of technology to enable effective and collaboration of flexible working, approach the day to day demands of each and every organisation to maintain business continuity, retain jobs and put the wellness of our talent first!

Talent drives the business strategy – so if your talent is not enabled, allowed or educated to work flexibly, effectively…here lies the problem…shame that it is taken a global problem for the sceptics to understand the multitude of business benefits.

Let me share some tips:

  1. Candidates, if you are slightly unwell prior to the interview, please contact the interviewer and request a video interview – you will be respected for taking the initiative. (*this is from a Head of Talent in Sydney within Government, who has had three situations this week of candidates coughing all throughout the interview in a confined space).
  2. The usual business etiquette of a polite handshake – is now frowned upon for the time being – please just greet your clients, customers or even family and friends with a smile!
  3. Evolve your mindset. Please rethink the way that you work, how your organisation may normalise and instill a culture of flexible working while meeting the demands of your role, the customer and all of the required output.
  4. Workplace culture is what you do, not what you say!
  5. Don’t start stealing toilet paper from your office – you know that this a crime!

When flexible work is implemented well companies reap the advantages of more productive and engaged employees with an empowering and trusting culture. Having a less flexible working practices not only creates resentment but will reduce employee’s effectiveness and productivity – and of course exposure to potential illnesses and then loss of business continuity.  

This could be the Revolution for Remote Working. How prepared are you – flexible working framework, systems, leaders, team, your employees and your customers?  

Let’s start to normalise and embed flexible working … how FlexFit is your organisation?

Connect with us to discuss how we partner with firms to embed ‘best fit’ flexible working at www.flexweare.com

#FlexWeAre #FlexibleWorking #Trust

Written by
Ariane Virtue
From the blog

More from the blog