A highly sought after benefit and an increasingly discussed topic of conversation in the world of work, flexible working has both been praised and criticised by employers. One of the biggest concerns that employers have is building trust with their employees to ensure that deliverables are still being met. What is often overlooked is the terminology used to define this agile approach to working and how it manages employees’ expectations, and we’ll explain that here.

It has been highlighted that flexible working is often viewed as something that is for working mothers or carers, which is why many businesses choose to use the term ‘dynamic working’ instead. In fact, there are quite significant differences between flexible and dynamic working. 

The principle of dynamic working is to focus on the output and performance of an individual, rather than the number of hours spent at work. Ultimately, if output levels are high and all responsibilities are taken care of, then it doesn’t really matter where and when they are achieved. This new way of working is instrumental in instilling a high-trust, high-performance culture within a business. It enables employees to integrate work seamlessly into their day-to-day lives by operating at times of the day when they are more productive and are able to devote the necessary time, and effort into their projects. Flexible working, on the other hand, is a contractual change to an employee’s working hours or days. This might include job sharing, part-time working, or compressed hours. 

Understanding the benefits

Considering the differences between flexible and dynamic working, in many cases what employees are wanting is the ability to work dynamically. The wording alone suggests a working set up that is active, on the go, self-motivated, and more efficient, not simply working less. 

The benefits of this way of working are extensive, but some of the key reasons businesses should consider introducing dynamic working include the following.  

Employee engagement - Fully engaged employees are more committed to work, driving client and shareholder satisfaction. 

Inclusivity - When everyone adopts a dynamic approach to working to balance their professional and personal lives, it levels the playing field and removes bias from working culture.

Accountability and results – Those who work dynamically are empowered to take more accountability of their work, as acting autonomously increases ownership. 

Staff retention - Working dynamically means that there is room to adapt and evolves processes, in line with changes that occur within the lives of your employees, promoting loyalty and retaining long-standing workers who are experts in their fields.

Implementing a successful dynamic working 

No doubt there have been and are still misconceptions around flexible and dynamic working arrangements. As mentioned above, the purpose of dynamic working is instilling a high trust/high-performance culture where employees can perform in an environment that is constantly changing. Where the demands of modern-day life can be met whilst ensuring that work isn’t compromised, but equally where the demands of work can be achieved without compromising life away from work – whether that be the in the office, home or café, etc.

Defining expectations

First and foremost, if you are wanting to embed dynamic working into your organisation, it is important to understand that it should not be forced or built into a culture overnight. It should evolve organically.

Routines, processes and guidelines are part of the norm within any organisation. However, dynamic working will not work unless it is flexible and agile. Dynamic and flexible working is an attitude as much as it is a culture change, but it is not a policy.

Have a clear and consistent message about dynamic working, highlight that it is available to employees and define what it means for them in their roles. This should come from the leadership team who would then demonstrate what dynamic works in the context of the organisation. It is important that management leads by example and sets the tone to promote confidence within others.

In addition to this, nominate champions who can help leaders spread the message and keep it consistent, while also teaching peers about what dynamic working really means. 

Making it work

Considering the element of trust surrounding dynamic working, it is important that this is given freely as this ensures employee confidence around dynamic working. Naturally, the key performance metrics of the business need to be met. When business targets or performances aren’t being achieved, employers need to ascertain why. Dynamic working may or may not be the variable. 

Employees need to provide their staff with all the tools needed to do their job effectively and ensure access to the same IT platforms/communication devices that they would if they were working in the office. Equipped with the right guidelines and tools to perform, it is then down to each individual to make their set up work best for them. So, that they can perform efficiently and maintain a high level of productivity. 

If you would like to discuss this further, or are looking to hire talented HR professionals into your team, get in touch with your local Page Personnel office or submit a job spec today. Alternatively, if you are looking for your next opportunity, create a MyPage account to make the most of our Job Match tool to find the roles that best match your skill set. 

Grant Zaccaria
Associate Director
Page Personnel HR, Secretarial & Business Support