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The future of work is flexibility

Article provided by King Price Insurance

Is hybrid work the way of the future? The short answer, irrespective of the size of your business, is: Maybe. We don’t know yet. What we do know is that the world of work has shifted permanently, and we need to be more flexible and open to new ways of working than ever before.

The great thing about working from home during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 is that it made us all more human. We saw into each other’s homes. We ‘met’ each other’s children, spouses, and pets. Our challenge now is to find ways to shape a new world of work that keeps us authentic, engaged, and innovative, and that also allows our culture and social capital to thrive.

The culture you build within your SME is the departure point. Culture drives engagement. Engagement drives productivity, creativity, and innovation. But how do we create an emotional connection between people in the office and people on a screen? How do we live the culture when we’re not physically immersed in the culture?

Perhaps the solution lies in looking at hybrid work more broadly. It’s not just about working remotely or working at the office. It’s about everything in between. It’s about what work we do, and when we do it.

For the ‘what’, we can identify four broad types of work.

  • Admin. In other words, sending email, scheduling meetings and events, planning your work schedule. Sorting out your insurance. You know the drill. 
  • Teamwork. The clue is in the name. It’s work that must bring people together as teams to be able to complete a bigger task or project.
  • Meetings. There are largely two types of meetings: basic feedback and catch-up, and strategic meetings.
  • Deep work. This is where we really focus on the thinking tasks that we need to do. It’s often the highest-value work.

For the ‘when’, ask yourself: what time of the day do your people do each type of work the best? This varies from person to person. Some of us are morning people, while others only find their groove when the sun sets.

So, the next question is, what’s the best time for the team? Perhaps your team needs to do deep work at home until 10:00. Then important meetings and teamwork at the office until 14:00. Then admin from anywhere. All options are on the table. Nothing is set in stone.

And that’s probably been the biggest realisation to date. The future of work is flexible. We just have to find the best way to navigate it.

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