How technology facilitates flexible work arrangements

The leader of the Dutch GroenLinks political party, Jesse Klaver, has recently made an agreement with other national parties that political coalition negotiations do not take place on Fridays because that’s his ‘daddy day’, as the Dutch call it: the day he spends at home with his kids.

The Dutch have a 28-hour work week on average, but great productivity. Most Dutch mothers go back to work part-time after giving birth, and dads have their daddy day(s). Work flexibility is offering the Dutch choices on when to work, a more equal division of parental care that breaks the mould of gender stereotypes as well as traditional working hours.

The notion of a 9.00am to 5.00pm day in an office, Monday to Friday, seems to be outdated in the Netherlands. Those hours, many years ago, may have been aligned to the amount of daylight in which people could achieve their tasks, but today that no longer matters.

It has been proven that people who feel content about the time they spend not working, are not distracted by their private life when they are at work. People who can choose their hours feel trusted to achieve what is expected of them, they value being treated as responsible professionals.

The internet and technological advancements have made modern-day offices mobile, and have even put them in our pockets. We do not need to be present behind our desks to get work done, we just need to be connected and equipped. Meetings take place over Skype or Facetime. Files are shared instantly. Some companies don’t even have offices anymore, drastically cutting overheads.

It’s an interesting time for HR because the pool of people that could fill a role increases when jobs can be done at flexible times and places. People who would otherwise be restricted by family commitments, disabilities that impact their movement and travel distance can now take on those positions.

Some people work better at home in the middle of the night, in a café at 7am or even in a park on the weekend. All it takes to be successful is trust and good management. Making sure employees know what needs to be done by when, when they can meet with other team members, and having access to the right files and equipment is key.

If people can cut down or cut out their commute time to work, they can spend that time doing more productive things. People are simply able to get more done when they can work at a time and place that works best for them.

Want to learn about people’s productivity and how to create flexible job opportunities? RMIT’s online Master of HR Management is one of our leading online programs (and embodies flexibility, too, with no on-campus commitments), so speak to one of our expert Student Enrolment Advisors today on 1300 701 171.