A civil engineering company Mc Alpine, Sir Robert McAlpine recently funded a study of using the first person accounts top provide their employers with something more than stats, related on the subject of the flexible working model. The Forever Flex: Making Flexible Working Work beyond a Crisis report was based on a survey of 1,420 employers and in-depth interviews with the leading front-runners and decision-makers of 32 companies from various sectors and sizes. This being conducted during lockdown, it was designed to reverberate on a “human level” and it gave examples of how flexible the working could be managed across various sectors. In the year 2019, Sir Robert McAlpine backed Mother Pukka’s Flex Appeal campaign to fund the research that would provide flexible working results. Its goal was to improve the work-life balance for its employees, and address the issue of mental health in the construction sector which recorded an alarming rate of male suicides each year.
If flexible working can somehow have a positive impact on mental health and help the companies reverse the disturbing trend of male suicides in construction, then they would be a 100 per cent committed to supporting it, said Sir Robert McAlpine CEO Paul Hamer.
When the lockdown hit in the month of March 2020, it plunged companies and even countries in to great Covid flex pediment at the same time forcing it to work differently when compared to working flexibly. The focus of the Flex Appeal study shifted towards providing instances applicable for after the pandemic. One third of the employees noted that there was an increase in productivity over lockdown and the 34 per cent of them reported back stating an increase of employees’ emotional wellbeing and happiness. The other key highlights were that 72 per cent of the respondents wished to retain the work from home model and continue with the same even after the pandemic. But only 66 per cent of the construction sector’s employees had this same intention. The report established that while the pandemic challenged the employer misconceptions about this flexible working, there remained certainties, and still remains, a need for the clarity and a shift from “accidental flex” to “true flex”.
Advice based on interviews with leaders and decision-makers at 32 companies that have embraced the concept of several notions, few of them are discussed below.
Go beyond HR to have the organization set up workshops and coaching for leaders to help them understand the implementation of the flex . Adjust the terminology that is to have a tailor flex to an organization’s culture and specifics and their significances. Conduct multiple tests to find out what works best, pilot and trial flexible occupied changes on small teams, rather than débuting a major launch.
Hamer said the study provided a real-world guide. He stated that they don’t have all the answers yet and they were on their own journey to introduce a flexible working for everyone. He also mentioned that each of them had the right to have a healthy work life balance. The findings would help pave the way to a greater inclusion, diversity and a major reduction of the gender pay-gap, he said. The report was made to order by campaigner Anna Whitehouse (aka Mother Pukka) and conducted by Claremont.