I'm lucky to have been on a 'working from home' contract for a good few years now, so the experience of working on a hybrid basis/from home is nothing new to me. It is however, new to millions of workers who never experienced it until the global pandemic, and it is abundantly clear that the majority of people now have a real taste for it.
We have all seen how employers are responding to this challenge with much more flexible arrangements for their employees, but working from home or on a hybrid basis is only one element of what employees are now seeing as the definition of true flexibility. The article linked here neatly sums up a more modern definition of the elements of flexibility that are expected from employees in today's talent market and employers will need to respond to retain their talent.
Where, when and how work can be done all need to be considered in terms of flexibility. And as usual, things are not always as simple as they might seem.
Where isn't just a 3 way choice of office, hybrid or home. There are a myriad of choices that fall into these categories and employers need to think very carefully about what 'home' is. Is it the house where the employee lives, or a family member's house, or a friend's house who the employee has visited for a long weekend?
When, from a flexibility perspective, isn't just about what contractual hours an employee is expected to work and within what time scale, but must take into account the abolition of the notion they they are available 24/7.
How, is probably the most difficult element of true flexibility to crack in my view - this is all about ways of working, and how the employee's work is done. Giving employees the opportunity to figure out how best they can complete their tasks at hand could be intimidating for employers that are change resistant, but it is clear that this third element of flexibility in the workplace is increasingly attractive to top talent.
In a candidate-driven market it is increasingly clear these elements of flexibility need to be addressed - and for those employers who do, it could result in attracting talent they never thought they could access before.