Modus asks “Does flexible working help or hinder productivity?”
Flexible working is a long debated issue and in the UK we are not totally at ease with the concept. Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics show that 87% of the UK workforce is still mainly office-based compared to the US. For our business we see flexibility as critical to attracting the talent and skill set required to deliver our particular area of expertise. Our Managing Director Graham Clarkson was recently quoted in Modus magazine outlining the reasons why we operate a flexible model. As an SME the business has been built on this foundation and we believe the positives far outweigh any perceived issues, although the critical element to making this work is trust. Many employers are sceptical when it comes to adjusted timetables or working from home arrangements as they believe employees are easily distracted and produce a lower output. On the contrary, we find that our employees often voluntarily work beyond contracted hours thanks to a passion for what they do and a deeply entrenched company value of outstanding customer service and collaborative working.
For all of our employees, the flexibility we offer allows them to maintain a healthy work / life balance and as such they are motivated to produce a higher output and fully unlock their potential. As Graham mentions in the article, staff are accountable for what they deliver and we have cloud-based systems that track and monitor project profitability, so any underperformance is picked up before it becomes an issue.
Employees do come into the office as required and a strong team dynamic prevails. We are constantly sharing our experiences and lessons learned with the help of our closed intranet and we hold quarterly business reviews where everyone comes together to discuss a range of issues and provide input into our strategy and future projects. During this time we also plan internal training sessions or review shared experiences from conferences. As a company we are extremely focused on the concept of collaboration and high performing teams and in the spirit of this core value, we hold fortnightly company discussions on how we can improve the management of teams and offer support to each other if there are any current challenging situations.
“Employers should create businesses in which staff play to their strengths, want to work and as a result will want to deliver.” – Graham Clarkson, Managing Director
Many companies, particularly large corporate organisations are still a long way from this amount of flexibility despite a change in the law at the end of last year which states that employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks have the legal right to request flexible working. Employers are not obliged to grant the request but they do need to have a sound business reason for rejecting such applications.
At Clarkson Alliance we like to think that we constantly challenge the status quo and seek better, improved ways of working so our flexible model is just part of our future-proofing for sustainable growth.