Flexible working in practice: can it be a win–win?
Flexible working comes in many different forms, from flexible roles, responsibilities, altered hours, or adaptable working environments. Flexibility is a key contributor in building an engaged and sustainable workforce. This article poses questions to consider about how to work in a flexible and sustainable way to benefit you, your team, the patients under your care and your practice both during and in the recovery phase following the pandemic.
Flexibility is a key contributor in building an engaged and sustainable workforce who are able to deliver a quality of service in a productive, safe and agile way. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals, teams, businesses, and the profession as a whole, have adapted, changed, flexed and changed some more. We now have clinicians working from home, wider use of telemedicine, consultations in car parks, altered opening hours and changed shift patterns, to name but a few. We have demonstrated our ability to adapt to the environment and demands that have been placed on us, but at what cost? Can we continue to be as flexible once the external stimulus has long disappeared and is such flexibility truly sustainable long term?
Flexible working comes in many different forms, it is not simply working from home or working fewer hours. It could take the form of flexible roles, responsibilities, altered hours, or adaptable working environments. Understanding both your own and your team's requirements and expectations is a key starting point to discussions about potential changes. Everyone is different and their requests and desired outcomes may also differ for each individual, so how do you know what would work for your team and your business?