Blog 07 Nov 2019 3 min. reading time

3 Learnings in the change management process towards a flexible working style

The growing spotlight on agile ways of working

The flexible workings style, also known as a dynamic working style, empowers employees to work in the way that suits their lives, and in the same time supports the business to better serve the customers’ needs. Banking company Barclays is one of the early adopters of the dynamic working style in their offices. In this blog we discuss the three key challenges that Barclays faced and how tackling those challenges helps you to guide employees into the new way of flexible working.

In 2015 Barclays started their change program from a classic way of working to a dynamic approach. Dynamic working within Barclays has been created to help their employees achieve an optimal work/life culture. Besides this argument flexible working increases for example also productivity and staff retention. A few years later they evaluated the change process and they have some great advices and learnings for other companies that want to successfully implement a dynamic working style.

1. Create a platform at your managers by providing the right tools and information

While moving towards a flexible work style managers often feel a lot of uncertainty. They might have doubts whether they implement it in the right way and might be afraid that business will suffer. It is therefore very important to give them the right tools and information. Barclays created e.g. a dedicated Dynamic Working portal where people shared user stories and information and 4000 managers attended a Dynamic Working training. This gave them guidance and showed them the possibilities and opportunities of flexible working. As soon as your managers are on board, the adaptation of your employees gets a lot more promising. Simply because those people will spread the word and train and motivate the rest of the employees within the company.

Providing the right tools and information for managers Providing the right tools and information for managers

2. Tackle the wrong assumptions around flexible working

One of Barclays' most important challenges was that there were many misconceptions about the possibilities of flexible working. It was frequently thought that flexible working was only intended for mothers with young children or that when a colleague works flexible hours, he was actually no longer motivated and involved. This are just two examples, but you will notice that their will be a lot more (incorrect) assumptions about flexible working in the office. Sometimes people might also wonder whether the office space itself is already optimally equipped for flexworking. If you are able to remove the misconceptions in advance, you prevent employees from thinking that flexible working is not intended for them and you motivate them change their way of working.

The first thing to consider is what sort of work is suitable for what type of office setups. The first thing to consider is what sort of work is suitable for what type of office setups.

3. Show and tell: a flexible work approach can strengthen your business

Nowadays there are still many companies that fear that flexible working has a negative impact on the business results. Over the past years multiple researches showed the opposite: when flexible working is properly implemented both the employee and the company benefit from it. At Barclays they started to collate and share data that proves Dynamic Working is a smart business decision. It improved awareness, confidence and uptake. Sharing this report with the leadership team helped them to make the first step. Therefore make sure to show the results, both financial and on employee level, to increase the support within the organization.

These three key challenges identified within Barclays can help you to start your change program the right way. Do you want to read more on the implementation of flexible working in your office? Continue for example with this blog about what to consider regarding office spaces when adopting a flex-office concept.

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