Flexpo shows the way for employers
The great thing about Flexpo was the energy and intention from everybody attending. From the speakers, the exhibitors and the hundreds of people who were there to find flexible work.
There's a long way to go though. Much of the advice to people desperate to find a more balanced solution for fitting essential and meaningful work in to their lives, was to 'be brave', and 'be the role model'. I agree with those sentiments entirely, and if you are in a position to make changes, request a change and be brave then go for it. If you don't ask you don't get.
However, many of us are not in that position. Some of us have asked and the answer has been a flat 'No', some of us have been brave and then felt negative consequences as we push ourselves forward.
Employers need to notice and act. Notice that large part of the work force, men, women, parents and non-parents WANT flexible working. Act by changing recruitment policies, changing job descriptions, training managers and leaders how to implement changes and changing the culture to really embed the new way of working.
The rewards for the employer for changing the way they work are massive - improved productivity, reduced sickness levels, better engagement scores, more loyalty and a wider recruitment pool to chose from.
I'm looking forward to Flexpo next year when I hope even more companies will be exhibiting and showing that they have embraced flexible working.