2020 has provided little joy for anyone. But one silver lining has been the enforced adoption of flexible working across every sector and every business, be they financial institutions, legacy brands, SME’s or start-ups. Overnight business models were broken, leaders were forced to reimagine and rebuild their vision based on alien human values such as trust and empathy, rather than the traditional enforced rules and regulations. Interestingly, the creative sector has not been the champion of progressive change, rather more notorious for a culture of unforgiving hours and family intolerance, which succeeded only in driving family-focussed talent out of the industry.
At Cult, we’ve always aimed to adopt radical business practices to bring a better and more fulfilling working culture to our team and clients. From launching a pioneering wellness programme for our team in 2017 to embracing an 80/20 way of working to allow our team to nurture side-hustles, passion projects and continue learning.
So earlier this year we welcomed partaking in The Forever Flex report, which was published this week. The report surveyed 1,420 employers and conducted in-depth interviews with business leaders at 32 companies, across a range of sectors and sizes, including Cult. The research was conducted during lockdown by Claremont, commissioned by Mother Pukka and funded by Sir Robert McAlpine. The findings represent a study of real-life success stories and evidence-based advice which resonates on a human level. The report illustrates how flexible working can be managed successfully resulting in a happier and more efficient workforce.
The report shows that 82% of employers in our services sector intend to keep working from home, 79% want to keep flexitime and 70% want to keep part-time hours. This shift in mind-set is not without its challenges. Surrendering control, allowing yourself and your team to learn, succeed and fail – is all part of the journey of adjustment. Leaders must learn to trust in their team relationships, especially the ones that worked previously, and acknowledge their success was not based on geography.
The research is an inspiring read and lays out a framework for all business looking to understand what the future of work could look like. Myself, co-founder and MD Bridey Lipscombe and our head of strategy Charlotte Bunyan were all interviewed about our views on flexible working, working from home while home-schooling and juggling raising our children; which was brought into sharp focus during the long period following the first UK lockdown.
“This working from home experiment has just reaffirmed that talking with our team is the number one thing we should have been doing over the past eight years. It improves trust and is not to be underestimated.” I went on to say: “Let’s open the floodgates: it doesn’t matter where you’re located, doesn’t matter what your day might look like, we just care about you doing the work that you love, to your best capabilities.”
As we look forward to 2021 any beyond we are more focused than ever on having an adaptable and compassionate focus to our team’s needs balanced with the progressive business model we’ve spent 8 years carving out.
"I believe that offering everyone a working environment in which they can thrive and be their best through flexible working can help pave the way to greater inclusion, diversity and the much-needed reduction of the gender pay gap,” said Paul Hamer, CEO, McAlpin.
Read the full report here: https://www.motherpukka.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Forever_Flex_report_FINAL-03.11.20.pdf