The world’s largest work-from-home experiment has been underway for the better part of the year, and people are gaining insight into what life could look like with increased flexibility on a permanent basis.
At the start of the pandemic, many companies made the choice to cut down on working hours to prevent furloughs or layoffs. This move left employers and employees reevaluating the necessity of traditional 9 to 5 structures.
“People are starting to view it as a way to take back control of their time, that they can do good work still, but just construct their weeks or months differently,” said Tom Amies-Cull, global operations officer, media at Dentsu Aegis.
Allowing workers to choose reduced hours could be financially beneficial for organizations, while also attracting a more diverse talent pool. In fact, some business leaders have said that some employees are requesting to keep reduced hours to achieve a better work-life balance.
For instance, 10% of advertising agency M&C Saatchi’s workforce are part-time, but CEO Camilla Kemp anticipates that number to increase next year as demand for flexibility grows.
Despite common misconception, M&C Saatchi has not seen a dip in productivity despite the increased amount of part-time positions.
Although part-time working is not a one-size-fits-all approach, it is opening up the possibilities of flexible work arrangements that can easily be adapted to meet an employee’s preference.