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Leading a flexible working team

Author: Peter Thomson

This line manager briefing can be adapted for use in your organisation, subject to the XpertHR terms and conditions of use.

Why is this line manager briefing relevant during the coronavirus pandemic?

The experience of working from home, forced on many people by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, has dramatically changed attitudes towards flexible working. According to CIPD research, 18% of employees regularly worked from home before the lockdown, and when the crisis is over, 37% will continue to do so. As we continue to adapt our working patterns to tackle the pandemic, we will become more familiar with alternatives to the "9 to 5" routine and managers will be more confident about running flexible operations.

Despite the lack of preparation, the sudden increase in homeworking did not cause chaos. Individuals adapted well and, in many cases, improved their productivity. Managers found ways to continue face-to-face interactions, using technology to hold virtual meetings and maintain social contact in their teams.

Now, many employees, who have shown that they can get their job done from home, are questioning the need to go back to the workplace. Line managers that do not support flexible working may find it hard to retain talented workers, who might look elsewhere for roles that offer them the flexibility to manage their home and work life in a way that suits them. Similarly, new recruits are likely to have expectations around working flexibly, and may have little interest in taking up a position if flexible working is not available.

You can use this briefing to help you and your team adapt to flexible working.