Will COVID-19 force a new flexible working ‘norm’?

Will COVID-19 force a new flexible working ‘norm’?

Well…I’m interested to hear people’s opinion on this, but as supporters for flexible working, Jacinta Fish Legal is well placed to be practising ‘social isolation’ with our agile, cloud-based approach.

It works for us and we have been doing it long enough to know what works and what doesn’t.

As unfortunate as the COVID-19 situation is, perhaps it will force companies into ‘taking the leap‘ and rolling out flexible working arrangements quicker and less organised than they would have liked – however – it might also force companies who were reluctant to change to adapt.

To begin with, it might not be pretty…and teams might not be as productive as employers would like, but this is a time to put your ‘agile’ strategy in place. Here are the 4 main principles of agile:

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Make connections; have conversations; your workflow and processes might not follow the normal patterns, but tit’s important to remain positive and flexible for the time being. Maintain social networks and don’t rely solely on digital tools and hiding behind your screens. 

2. Working software over comprehensive documentation

Very few large companies will have planned for this kind of disruption, it’s one thing to have a business continuity plan but it’s another altogether to really put it to the test! It’s better to have something working that allows your people to connect and work than following your plan and failing slowly, leaving your staff and clients unsure and anxious.

3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

We’re all in this together and that means everyone is under stress and your client’s relationships are more important than ever – compromise; collaborate; find a way to keep things moving and working towards a positive future relationship. It will be a test of your communication skills, empathy and tenacity to keep those clients you already have.

4. Responding to change over following a plan

It’s the responsibility of your leaders to show some empathy and flexibility and resilience. The best leaders will ‘read the room’ and respond to the changing needs of staff and clients. They will deal with ambiguity with cool calm heads and know that  things won’t always go to plan (that much is obvious by now!)


By the way, Flexible Working Day is on June 10 2020.  It will be more important than ever for employers to make not just now but going forward and it will be interesting to see the innovation and change that comes from businesses making the move towards remote & flexible working. FWD2020 We encourage your to seek out their resources and talk to others about what works (or didn’t work) for them and be open to new ways of working in the future.

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