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Where do we
organize these
changes?

  • “Where” is about organizing location changes—whether flexible and tailored remote or onsite working models.

    The first consideration here is the inevitability of physical work locations ceding into hybrid virtual and physical models, especially as flexible working models start to gain prominence. We suggest that in the future, the most successful companies will have flexible work policies in place across three dimensions: 

     

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  • Many business leaders have grown up in office-based work models, and the concept of flexibility demands a big shift in thinking. However, we already know that the opportunity for flexible work is prized by many employees: BCG research shows that women at companies with no flexible work options are 20% more likely to seek a new job at another company in the next three years, and men in the same situation are 30% more likely to move on.

    Aligning on a set of “people principles” as you embark on defining your future work model is the first step. This is all about thinking about the priorities of your business and how that transfers through to your people. It links to your talent model—how important will retention be, or are you going to focus on gig working—as that then defines your approach to flexibility. Do you want to use flexibility as a positive for your employees (and your giggers), or will you look to use flexibility to simplify your business model, reduce the payroll, reduce the number of shifts on offer or more? 

    Already, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a stronger emphasis on hybrid remote working models, and in many cases, roles, functions and skills have shifted as a result. A future model could look at team segmentation with different schedules, shift departmental priorities or even eliminate some roles completely. It is clear that when it comes to introducing flexibility, you also need to ensure the right policies, the right performance measurement mechanisms, and the right support and engagement models (to ensure those who work differently do not feel marginalized) are in place. But it is also clear that all organizations will need to enable more flexible working to attract talent and be successful in the future.
     

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  • One of the things that we’ve seen from the get-go of this crisis is the challenges faced by parents trying to educate their children, or looking after elderly parents and neighbors, as well as getting work done. We’ve created a caregiver leave for people who need it—we realize people are trying to manage through a crisis environment.
    —Tami Erwin