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Last week US bank BNY Mellon informed its employees it was “pausing” a review of its policies that allow them to work from home. But what are the implications if HR decides to change or scrap an existing policy, and how should they go about it? Andrea London explains.
We have all heard the terms “flexible working” and “agile working”. In the past decade they are increasingly synonymous with the millennial culture and a step towards obtaining that elusive work-life balance.
Smarter technology has made working other than in an office viable and many employees now actively seek roles which enable them to work flexibly, often from home, a couple of days a week. Indeed, forward-thinking employers now offer this as part of the standard working regime, even in industries where this was previously not even thought possible, such as banking and financial services.
There are various reasons for this shift in more agile working practices, but one of the main pushes towards greater workplace flexibility seems to have resulted from the employer's need for the best employees within their businesses, so having to take into account the requirements of those employees, even if that means there has to be some work location and timing compromises.
There has also been a perception change insofar as, where an employee isn’t at their desk in the office; Monday to Friday; 9am to 6pm this no longer suggests that they are “slacking off”. Quite the opposite: the productivity of remote working employees has long been known to be generally higher and most homeworking employees will work during those hours they would have ordinarily spent travelling into the office.
It is true, however, that two groups of workers have probably benefited most from the perceptual and actual changes in flexible working, an