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The flexible working myth

24th Sep 2021
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Are you about to fall victim to the flexible working myth?

“It’s 2021 not 1971” summed up Alice Thompson, who was recently awarded £185,000 after pursuing a case against her former employer that wouldn’t allow her to work shorter hours enabling her to pick up her daughter from nursery.

Flexible working

Despite the massive impact that the pandemic has had on working, the above example shows that many businesses remain resolute in their attitude towards (in)flexible working.

This is seemingly reinforced by the rush being put back into rush hour in the Capital, where in September the first signs of a commuter revival were experienced. The tube recorded its busiest morning since the start of the pandemic up 17% from the week before, to just under a million – the highest since March 2020. Buses also saw 39% more passengers.

Increasingly, firms are bringing their teams back to the office – in some cases with employees kicking and screaming! According to data from recruitment companies resignations are reaching a zenith across the UK with a large proportion citing inflexibility around working practices as their major reason.

Flexible or blended working is proving very problematic for traditional businesses – including marketing consultancies with property footprints. One solution does not fit all. Some people want to work from home full time, others want to be in the office every day and still more want the flexibility to do both. Unsurprisingly, people with kids tend to want to be at home, whilst younger workers want to be in the office where they get more social interaction and face time with senior management.

One particular bug bear for those back in the office is the number of virtual meetings that they are still taking. Face to face meetings haven’t resumed as many people presumed they would. This is because online meetings save money and as a result a large number of businesses have announced that virtual meetings will remain for the foreseeable future.

Happily for us, these are issues that don’t concern us! As one of the first remote working marketing consultancies in the UK we have always #wfh with flexibility at the heart of our DNA.

We founded The Thread Team because we recognised how much talent was squandered in our industry due to inflexibility. Square pegs and round hole syndrome. If someone wanted to move outside of the commuter belt, they were forced to leave. If they wanted to move to part time, they had to leave. If they moved country, same story and so on. We wanted to retain that knowledge and talent and so created a flexible working environment where all this talent could come together and work with progressive brands that recognised the benefit of this approach to consultancy life.

Communication and trust are the pillars of our success. Ultimately, all we ask is that people get their work done to the quality that is required and attend the meetings that they need to – otherwise their time is their own. In fact, before writing this I whipped up a lemon drizzle and am planning a walk once there is a break in the weather.

For the thousands of marketers that are dreading battling senior management about where and how they will work, ask yourself is it worth it? 


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