The recent announcement that Gambia were shortening their working week and making Friday a rest day caused a flurry of reports & blogs. To us, stipulating a Monday to Thursday work pattern goes against the 24/7 culture, which continues to take a hold on how we live our lives. What do you think? Would you want a more condensed working week?
According to a recent survey in the US by Future Workplace, the younger generations (born after 1977) place flexibility high on their criteria list for choosing employers. They want to able to choose when they work, how they work as well as where they work. A shortened working week wouldn’t achieve this level of flexibility.
Recent comments from Professor Cary Cooper, the organisational psychology expert, concur with this survey he believes ‘it’s about flexibility – flexible time, flexible place. People want it to happen, it’s just a case of convincing managers it’s good for them.”*
Is this flexibility realistically achievable for businesses? Over 96% of businesses do already offer some flexible working arrangements ** & technological advances continue to increase the possibilities. The key is finding an arrangement that works for both the business and the employee.
Going forward, it will be important to be open-minded & consider the possibilities, however ultimately we believe it will be, as much about the impact on the bottom line & the customer, as what employees want that will decide whether a flexible arrangement can work.
** Source: CIPD Survey ‘Flexible Working Provision & Uptake’ May 2012