We appreciate that the ‘hybrid era’ is upon us, but how much flexible working is beneficial – not only to the candidate but to an employers business as a whole?

We have discussed here before how the workplace is changing. Some businesses are just catching up while others are leading the march on flexible working and have been advocating this for a good few decades.

Changes and requests continue to come on both sides of the candidate client experience. However, it is important to ask – what is going to be of best benefit to you and your employer’s business health going forward.

We all learnt what was possible, and how quickly a new way could be achieved when we needed to respond to keeping our businesses and jobs alive during the pandemic; albeit with a fair amount of pain – but we got there!

So many of you have understandably welcomed this new order with open arms, countless candidates are loving the cost savings and flexibility of operating from the spare room or kitchen table – benefits aplenty, such as extra family time, lower commute costs, the ability to prepare dinner or throw a wash on at lunchtime etc. But it’s my belief that this is not entirely sustainable or a healthy reality if not approached with balance and can lead to problems for the individual down the line.

Working from home can lead to isolation, and leave colleagues feeling a disconnect from one-and-other, their organisation and its culture – something that would normally evolve organically in an ‘old school’ office environment. Staying at home on your own is not generally beneficial; on a very basic level human beings (aka – in this discussion – you the employee) need personal interaction with each other (aka your colleagues). Face-to-face interaction and guidance from a manager or peers is extremely beneficial in helping one to grow professionally, to get the job done and achieve goals, but also to tangibly experience or fully understand a business’s culture.

So, as I often say to our candidates, do not be too rigid about the need for hybrid working that is too heavily weighted towards ‘work from home’. You are most likely limiting your own, and in fact your colleagues, progression. That said we are briefing clients that, in order to encourage candidates in, they might need to consider other perks to improve the office work / life experience, such as mentorships, gym memberships, free lunches etc – and for you the candidate it’s not unreasonable to start asking and exploring if these benefits are a possibility.