If we look back at what the Suffragettes had to fight for in the late 19th century, it’s easy to see how
far we’ve come. It would therefore be very easy for assumptions to be made that when it comes to
flexible working, we have reached where we need to be; some people may believe that all barriers
have been broken, all challenges overcome and all battles won when it comes to women’s (and
men’s) rights in the workplace. They couldn’t be more wrong. Now that flexible and agile working is
so topical, now that family friendly employers are terms that many companies aspire to be and now
that we are in a place where many parents expect there to be a balance between work and life; it is
actually even more important for us to all push ahead and make an agile working environment the
norm and not the exception.
Our society is changing; people are living longer meaning that many of us will either now or in the
future have parents and elderly relatives to care for. Many women are waiting until they are much
older to have children meaning that most are established in senior level roles with huge
responsibilities and a bucketful of knowledge. The case for flexible working is now more important
and prevalent than ever, and whilst we may have started to chip away at barriers to a flexible work
environment, there is still much to do. Women know what is possible and they expect. The
responsibility lies with employers in all industries and of all sizes to be actively embracing flexible
If you know what agile working is but you have yet to adopt these wonderful practices, then please
take a look at our five reasons why you should be creating a flexible working environment for your
1. We are a new generation: it’s already been discussed in the introduction but today’s senior
generation of employees really are a new breed. Many have elderly parents and young
children to care for which results (or will result) in them being pulled in all directions when it
comes to commitments outside of work. With quality of life and life expectancy
continuously on the up, there really is nowhere to hide and employers who ignore this
reality will suffer serious problems in the not too distant future.
2. Our working lives are getting longer: studies published last week suggested that our
children could be working for 100 years and will have up to 10 different careers in their
lifetimes. Isn’t it only right then that our legacy to them is that it will be normal for them to
work flexibly and to their terms in these roles?
3. Political pressures: the Government is truly dedicated to getting Mums and Dads back into
the workplace and it is likely there will be more and more legislation introduced over the
next few years. With these added pressures and national expectations, employers will have
no choice but to embrace flexible working. Those companies who have already made agile
working a business strategy will already be reaping the rewards and are trailblazers that
others will be aspiring to be.
4. We are informed and not afraid to share our experiences: with technology literally at our
fingertips, employees can share their experiences (both good and bad) at the click of a
button. This means that an employer’s reputation really does go before them and a
company can be regarded as a good or bad employer based on their attitude to flexible
working. Companies who already operate an agile working environment know that they
stand the best chance of attracting and retaining the best talent.
5. Technology: There’s no excuse. The rise of the smartphone, hand held devices and cloud
technology have removed all physical barriers to flexible working. We can send an email
from the school gates, take a conference call from the supermarket and work from the other
side of the world with little interruption to the working day. Now the only thing standing in
the way to making flexible working with a work/life balance a reality for the majority is the
psychological resistance exhibited by the hundreds of managers and business owners
around the country. If you are one of them, take it from us, now is the time for you to be
embracing and promoting a flexible workplace and if you delay, you really will regret it.