Over the last few weeks several companies have embraced remote working permanently, making announcements that will change arrangements for their employees forever. Morrisons HQ, Twitter, Fujitsu and RBS are all leading the way by embracing a more flexible working policy on a permanent basis.
I’m writing this blog sat in the park watching over my 3 girls who are embracing the freedom they’re allowed to enjoy once again. It’s been a long 4 months as both my husband and I worked through lockdown whilst trying to home school the kids and retain some level of sanity. It’s been challenging, as I’m sure it has been for many other parents but made easier by the fact that we’re a 100% remote working business already.
Flexibility was built into Tribal from day one – it’s one of our foundational values (which we affectionately call our F Words). I remember writing my first ever business plan back in 2015 and listing one of the goals as:
Not a traditional business goal, I grant you, but a goal that I still stand by 5 years after I wrote it. It’s also something that I encourage our team to bake into their working day.
Flexibility shouldn’t be a perk or an incentive. It should be standard for companies that want the best for their team.
I know not all roles allow for employees to work from home, but flexibility can come in other ways. It’s about giving employees the freedom (another one of our F words) to choose.
Some companies allow employees to flex their benefits, choosing a benefit package that is tailored to their specific situation rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
Other employers recognise employee contributions and will shift roles accordingly. During lockdown, I spoke to a temporary worker for a local supermarket. He was hired as a general helper, but the supermarket quickly recognised his experience in warehouse management so asked if he would prefer to manage deliveries to the store.
I’m learning that as we grow at Tribal, we don’t have the structure or size to formalise new full-time roles. Instead we’re morphing and moulding our growth as we go.
We’re turning our agility into an opportunity – constantly listening to customers and adapting ourselves accordingly. But we’re also listening to our team. When they spot an opportunity to grow themselves whilst growing Tribal, we try to give them space to do it.
Google famously encourages employees to innovate 20% of their time. They recognise that freedom within the workplace creates innovation for the long-term. Over the last few months, I’ve been practising something similar.
I’ve learnt that as soon as there’s a meeting booked in my calendar - even if it’s just 15 minutes at 3pm in the afternoon – my entire day pivots around it. Somehow, it halts my free thinking. Weird, I know. But I’ve recognised that I need a little space.
I’m calling it “Freedom Friday”. It’s a meeting free day that allows me to check-in with the tribe, write my blogs and read articles I bookmarked throughout the week.
Flexibility in the workplace is more than just working from home. It’s more than flexing the benefits. It’s about building flexibility into the fabric (another F word!) of the entire organisation. It’s fascinating.
Now as a final challenge, how many F words did I use in this post? 😊 Learn more about our F Words here.