The Changing Face Of Working Life
By Simon Norris
As the dividing line between work time and personal time becomes increasingly blurred, employers are finding it more and more difficult to strike a happy balance between a flexible working culture and a productive workforce. Simon Norris of Temperus argues that a self-regulating approach, in which staff are free to organise and manage their own time in a responsible way, can offer significant benefits to both parties.
Whilst the myth of the nine-to-five lives on, if you work in an office, the chances are that you no longer have a working day...
...that your parents’ generation would recognise. The twin forces of technology and globalisation have transformed our working lives, removing both temporal and physical barriers — and switching off and tuning out is becoming increasingly difficult.
Whether extended by a breakfast meeting or deal-clinching evening drinks, for many people the working day now rarely follows a prescribed formula. The concept of flexible working, where staff are free to adapt their working hours based on their individual home and office commitments, is now widely practised. A flexible approach from employers means staff can have the freedom to plan their time around personal commitments, such as attending a child’s sports day, and can help to promote a happy workforce and a healthy work/life balance.
The growing popularity of remote working is further blurring the dividing line between home and work time, with more than 11% of staff operating mainly from home, according to the Office of National Statistics. The interruptions for the home worker include that additional set of personal intrusions that they would not face in the office, be they troublesome children, the need to walk the dog or an unexpected visitor.
Meanwhile, back in the workplace, the relationship between... continued on page two >