Companies need to be ready to adopt flexible work arrangements beyond the pandemic according to HR management experts Professor Carol Kulik and Dr. Ruchi Sinha of the University of South Australia.
“COVID-19 forced people to work from home under the worst possible conditions—it was done in a rush, it was done across the board, and in some cases, it was done without the right supports such as IT, or ergonomics,” said Sinha. “Yet, even under these sub-optimal conditions, the pandemic showed that flexibility can work, with many people thriving in their safe, home-bound conditions.”
Although over 80% of Australian businesses have the ability to provide flexible working, only about 17% embrace is. Kulik said the best way to remedy this is by ‘job crafting’ in which positions can be arranged to match the needs of a worker.
“By crafting roles and performance criterion effectively, these organisations are more likely to retain their talent, attract new talent and thrive,” said Kulik.
Kulik added that managers and business leaders need to come to terms that they are the biggest barriers when it comes to flexibility as they lack the skills needed to motivate and inspire a distributed workforce.