Written by:
Christine Christodoulou

(Video) Workplace 2.0: What does flexibility really mean in 2021?

Welcome to Workplace 2.0, our bi-monthly webinar series which sees us dissect the most topical challenges that the future of the workplace is facing. Be that the knock-on impacts felt by the workforce as a result of the global pandemic or discussing highly relevant issues such as employee engagement, wellbeing, and diversity and inclusion.

We’re all navigating ourselves and our businesses through the new normal, right?

Workplace 2.0 is all about knowledge sharing, learning from those who have been there and done it, and share their expertise. Workplace 2.0 aims to support our attendees in the way of advice that they can take away and apply to aspects of their own business.

This month we tackled the hot topic of flexibility in the new world. What does flexibility actually mean in 2021 and how can we ensure our leaders/managers are geared up to embrace this?

There is no doubt that the global pandemic has shifted the concept of being a flexible working environment. What was seen as a work “perk” and a “unique” benefit, is now standard practice. To be a truly flexible business means much more than just a working from home policy and an occasional early finish though – employees are now seeking more and more from their managers / Employers.

Despite this, it would seem there are still some managers out there who are reluctant to get on board with a more flexible culture. A recent survey from Flexa careers shows that 68% of job applicants want to work in an office 2-4 days per week post-pandemic, but only 31% of companies are willing to offer flexible work options.

So, what does flexible working even mean in 2021? What are the benefits of operating with more flexibility? What can dubious employers do to implement a flexible culture that works for their business and how do they ensure they’re genuine in their approach? Can managers learn to trust their team more and allow for a more “output” based approach to leadership?

To help us break these questions down, we’ve enlisted the help of three expert guests…

Anouk Argossal, Jaqui Temperley and Faye Roth.

Anouk is Founder + CEO at Unleashed, a far-from-your-average consultancy that supports high-growth startups and scaleups to scale through all things People, Culture and Leadership. Their mission is to gear up businesses for speedy, sustainable and successful scaling (they love alliteration) + to create fulfilling work lives to boot. According to Anouk’s twitter, she is a mother, a lover and a slightly mad Aussie shiela! Not only is Anouk the Founder of Unleashed, she is also a Fellow at Foundervine, a Non Executive Director and Board Advisor for a couple HRTech Startups and a School Governor! Anouk knows a thing or two about flexibility… Unleashed has implemented their own successful and unique flexible benefits plan and were featured in Flexa Careers’s list of the most flexible companies to work for in 2021! Anouk recently told Financial Times – “Companies that don’t have flexibility benefits as standard will really lose out. It’s no longer an advantage to have it, it’s a disadvantage not to.” We’re going to be picking her brain on her journey with flexibility and how it’s worked for Unleashed.

Jaqui is an experienced consultant, coach and trainer and MD of Veritas and Associates Ltd with over 16 years’ commercial management and recruitment experience, and 14 years’ executive coaching experience. When it comes to management, business experience, coaching, mentoring, training, development and HR operations – Jaqui is your go to woman.

Her clients include CEO’s, Directors, SME owners and entrepreneurs across private, public and third sector organisations helping individuals and teams improve performance, increase profitability and implement organisational change. Jaqui has advised many a CEO on flexible working – she’ll be sharing with us some of her experiences and how the mindset against flexibility can be changed.

With 71% of people more likely to apply to a role that directly mentions flexibility and the battle for talent more competitive than ever – like it or not, managers need to be addressing flexibility.

The working world of 2021 is changing constantly – managers need to be ahead of the curve to attract, engage and retain talent effectively.

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