The problem with talking about flexible working is that those who get it – who really get it – are already doing it. We already believe in it. We already do it.
So how do you convince the archaic senior leader, the bad boss, the arrogant manager, the passive aggressive supervisor, the ‘it wasn’t like that in my day’ Partner, the ‘it can’t be done’ team leader, the 'I don't believe in flexible working' Director – to change?
Here’s my take – we absolutely must must must keep talking, keep championing and keep asking for things to change. You can all play a part – no matter what your role.
At the top, those good, flexible, trusting, empowering leaders need to continue to be role models. They need to practise what they preach, say yes to the requests, mandate policies, ensure that the good behaviours and best practises are actually followed, and take action when people put up blockers.
When you have flexible working that works for you, talk about it, share it.
When you implement flexible working – of whatever sort - in your organisation shout about it – show the value.
When you recruit for a new hire – insist on offering flexible options. If you’re in recruitment – insist on it being offered, show that there is a talent pool out there crying out for it.
We should be embracing differences, valuing diverse organisations, nurturing our talent. Don’t let people walk out of the door because you didn’t fancy letting them go to sports day or couldn’t accommodate a slightly later start time.
Challenge the naysayers and let’s start changing the way we all work – for good.