What’s the problem?
Risk of a two-tier workplace
The risk is a split in the workforce between ‘flex haves’ and ‘flex have nots’. The ‘flex haves’ are fortunate, working in roles which are straightforward to make flexible, or in organisations with the time and money to invest in change programmes. The ‘flex have nots’ will struggle in roles which are either being flexed to the extreme or which can't easily be adapted to home working, especially within sectors such as social care and healthcare that are overwhelmed and lack the capacity to begin implementing change following the pandemic.
Location flexibility vs. Time flexibility
With massive increases in the number of people working from home, ‘flexible work’ has become almost synonymous with ‘remote work’. More attention needs to be given to the fact that not all roles can be carried out from home, particularly those frontline roles in retail, construction, social care and the NHS. It is important to remember that time flexibility – such as part-time, staggered start and finish times, and core hours – is equally important and better suited to some roles and industries.