The world of #Work has been and still is in the midst of a radical change. Above all requests, flexibility is what appeals most to the workforce - the idea that you have to work at a fixed place at a fixed time has started to seem outdated, if not inefficient. According to a recent survey by Jobsite, 75% of all 25-34 years old said they would work flexible hours if they could.
British workers have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time, and the moment has now arrived. From the 30th June, any employee has the legal right to ask to change their working patterns, regardless of why they may need to do so. Only requirement: they must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks.
What this means is simple to understand but hard to believe: no more hours of commuting, no more annoying colleagues, no more repetitive working hours. For everyone. The move has been welcomed by the majority of people. "Modern businesses know that flexible working boosts productivity and staff morale” says Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. “Employees who are able to work from home are more productive than their office-bound colleagues because they are less distracted, grateful for the flexibility” these are the recent findings of the London School of Economy.
Flexibility with its allure and advantages is here. Is not that a dream becoming reality?
Perhaps only in theory. Whilst this lifestyle sounds ideal, we should consider the other side of the coin. At first, the lack of human contact – to work remotely is very likely to make us feel an overwhelming sense of solitude. No office environment, less social interaction.
Another big problem is that flexibility might lead us to work even more intensely as well as more hours. If home and office can and probably will merge together, so could relaxation with work, sofa with office chair, as well as dining table with desk. The result? A stressful and almost Stakhanovite lifestyle: the exact opposite of that so perfect work life balance which this new law entails, or seems to do so.
Again, in theory the possibility of working everywhere and any time is fantastic. No doubt. But what if those hours of commute, those annoying colleagues, those lunch breaks were funnily enough our distraction and what kept us sane? What if we end up working for real everywhere and at any time? Flexibility is great – and here. A workaholic society is not great – yet this danger can lurk here.