Flexible working: embracing the future, today

Life might seem very different from how it was at the beginning of the year and there’s more uncertainty to come. With that in mind, it’s vital that we can hold onto the positives that have come out of life in lockdown.

Much has been spoken, and written, about how Covid-19 struck the world like an earthquake in March this year. Suddenly, unpredictably, and with little prior warning. In the early days, as we began to comprehend what was happening around the world, the effects felt almost like seismic waves and aftershocks as we realised what it would mean to our lives.

I have been impressed and comforted by the strength and resilience of our leadership team at Hyphen who reacted quickly and adapted the business strategy to an ever-changing situation, right from the beginning. Always looking ahead and navigating the best route forwards. Although, like many, we have not been able to communicate face-to-face from our workstations at home, and we all miss the social aspect of meeting together in an office.

Before lockdown, flexible working was becoming more popular but, like many businesses we were reticent over taking a leap into the unknown. As One Hyphen, our teams have experience working together from opposite sides of the world but doing this from home posed new challenges. How would people feel without ad hoc chats around the coffee machine? Would teamwork be compromised? How would technology withstand the demands of remote working?

In adapting to enforced remote working however we have noticed lots of positive changes. People are taking more responsibility for their work, they are productive and still deliver results, sometimes even better than before. We are making more time for each other as it is quick and easy to have online meetings. The technology has supported our needs. We are communicating more effectively and working in ways that are more efficient than we could have previously imagined. People are trusting each other’s skills and strengths, allowing significant business decisions to be made more quickly and efficiently than ever before. Teamwork is stronger, despite the physical distance, and we’ve found that people are achieving a better work-life balance.

Many of our colleagues across Europe have already returned to the office and now the UK government is also beginning to ease restrictions, so that we too can start planning to return to the workplace. It now seems like the most natural and logical step to continue building on the positive experiences we have had during these last few months. We have listened to feedback from our staff and we have heard and understood their experiences. People want more freedom to decide how, when and where they work. With this in mind, we are launching a flexible working trial in the UK as of 3 August 2020.

The trial will take place over a three-month period, but our intention is to extend this working principle across all of our offices if it is successful. Our business hours and the delivery and standard of our service to our clients will remain unchanged. In the spirit of Hyphen’s value ‘we embrace the future, today’. 

The future of our lives and our business has irrevocably changed due to the effects of Covid-19.  We are using this as an opportunity to build on this experience as One Hyphen and to navigate a future that is supported by positive change. This will enable us not only to survive as a business, but to flourish into the future.