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Beyond Boundaries: Exploring the Flexible Workforce

Introduction to Flexible Workforce


An overview of what a flexible workforce is, its importance in today's economy, and its benefits for both employers and employees.


Flexible workforce is a setup wherein employees and employers embrace an alternative working style different from the traditional people are currently used to. Going back to how it started mostly women work from home, like seamstresses, weavers, and bakers, which they could provide money and at the same time take care of the household. According to the blog from Flexjobs, from 1950’s, after World War II ended, women who’d taken jobs while men went into battle found themselves suddenly thrust out of a workforce that they’d excelled in, and one type of work-from-home job we’ve seen once again rise in popularity traces its roots back to the post-World War II era is multi-level marketing. By the 1960s, the 20th-century workforce was a commuting workforce but members of the creative professions (artists, writers, etc.) continued to work from home most of the time. Through the years, it has been developing, up until in 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, which doesn’t just encourage, but requires all federal executive agencies to establish policies for eligible employees to work remotely.



Trends in Flexible Work Arrangements


Now, you may be shocked that flexible work doesn’t just literally mean changing the schedule of 8am – 5pm to another schedule, thus, it is more than that. What most of the industries are currently embracing at present is;


Remote work at a restaurant

First, remote work, in which people can work remotely wherever convenient for them, whether, at home, in a cafe or even while travelling in a plane or a car is possible.


Second, there is hybrid work, in which people can combine remote work and in-office work, depending on the tasks needed to be done in the day or the situation an employee is in, they have a choice.


Third, is the most in demand with regards to those businesses that has 6 days' work week, it is called the compressed workweeks, this has been allowing people to squeeze in the time intended for the 6th day to Mondays- Fridays so, that they could have their weekends off work, to give a clearer picture, instead of working 8 hours per day, they would be working 9.5 hours for the weekdays.


Fourth trend is flexitime, this allows people to choose their working hours that is both convenient for the employer and employee.


Lastly, freelancing, which is widely emerging and booming now a days, a good example is the virtual assistant, in which people are given tasks by employers to accomplish that is purely remote work and working independently for one person.


With all that said, it still all depends on the business that you are working with, on which would be applicable to both the business and their people. The transition to these new trends from the traditional may not be in one snap, and it is best to do it gradually, slowly but surely, to give way to what should be and what not along the way while embracing it.



Pros and Cons of Flexible Workforce:


We’ve come this far into delving into flexible work, but nothing comes free in this world and surely everything comes at a price. So, what could be the pros and cons?


We could list so many pros of Flexible Work, but here are for both employers and employees in which a win-win situation:


Less Absenteeism, therefore, we may not say that the more workers, the more the output, however, we can safely say that the less absenteeism, the more days for finishing outputs without compromising the quality due to inadequate days of preparation.


Reduced costs, if employees permanently work from home or wherever it is convenient for them, the lesser the cost for the employers with regards to office rent, utility bills such as electricity, internet, and water bills, as well as office supplies.


work life balance

Work-life balance, given that each has their freedom to fulfil the tasks and at the same time manage their personal lives, like hitting two birds in one stone is such a dream for many. One can go from one appointment to another while still being able to get a job done.


Thus, life is not just getting what we want easily, it surely sometimes comes with consequences,


Reduced collaboration and communication, since each is away from each other, tasks would be given to work independently, more like supervisors and managers were the ones they are communicating with to report back finished tasks. Interaction with other team members would be limited, therefore, exchanging of ideas and experiencing to deal with tasks together in which they would contribute to the learning of each other may also possibly be reduced.



High risk of overwork, given the circumstances of having the freedom, employers may abuse the time and expect employees to still be able to work out of their working hours which may lead to burnout and overworking.


Decrease employee engagements, since people are used to working here and there, employee engagements may feel like an additional task to attend to and is given less attention by both employers and employees.


Health, emotional, mental, and physical health may take a toll, for instance if you are always at home, you may feel stuck and uneventful. Whenever, you need colleagues to share your thoughts with how stressful your work is, you won’t be having one within the reach of your sight, and because your movements may be limited and may require less walking and just more on sitting, posture may possibly be affected, gaining weight is also to be expected.



Remote Work Strategies:


With all the pros and cons that are stated, how can flexible workforce be strategized into each one’s advantage?


Enhancing communication and collaboration, regular virtual meetings, collaborations, and giving channels for your team to openly communicate.


Home office

Create a home office, this will help a person feel more productive and creative, away from the clutter of the home, TV, and bed is recommended to avoid distractions.


Invest in drives or clouds, each team could be able to easily locate files, information, and resources they needed in their work, which would lead to more productivity, this may also be used as storage for finished tasks, that can easily be accessed by managers or supervisors.


Continuous training, as it is given that remote work requires knowledge in different applications, employees shall be needing a little help and push from the employers, and to help them to be familiarised in working efficiently, here comes the WorkingSm@rt method that helped over 2,500 companies and 32,500 individuals from around the world to meet the changing demands of a complex, modern business world, evolving with the challenges in business to provide the solutions that organisations need to be successful.



We provide programmes for different aspects from time and workload management, project management, communication & information management, leadership skills, up to customer service & selling that would really be beneficial. Would you like to know more? Visit our website at https://www.prioritymanagement.co.nz/ or contact us now!


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