Changing the face of work as we know it
The seismic shifts in the economy have brought long term change, perhaps even change for good. Companies are having to rethink their business models and workforce management to be much more agile and responsive to their markets and customers.
By Virginia Merritt, Management Today Entrepreneur Weekly
This is a great opportunity for us to design attractive new ‘work packages’ that benefit all concerned.
Last year, as businesses were forced to find ways of reducing their fixed costs, there was ironically a positive unintended consequence; business owners, HR and employees alike all began to think much more innovatively about different short term employment options to ease the burden of high salary costs in tough times.
I was impressed by a law firm, for example, who offered development secondments to businesses or charities, 3 month travel or research sabbaticals, extended paternity/maternity leave and 4 day working weeks – all intended as temporary measures to reduce costs. The firm certainly didn’t want to lose its talented lawyers simply because there was a blip in client demand. In fact, these flexible options were universally welcomed and people returned to work feeling refreshed and re-energised – and valued by the firm.
This year, we now see the seismic shifts in the economy as change for the longer term, and perhaps even change for good – in both senses of that phrase. Most companies have to rethink their business models so that they can be much more agile and responsive to their markets and customers. Changing the business model is a good reason to change the way we think about employment options – and we could use some of those creative approaches that worked so well in the crisis…