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Flex Work Confidential: Everything You Need to Know about Flexible Working Requirements

March 16, 2018

Flex Work Confidential: Everything You Need to Know about Flexible Working Requirements

Location independence, variable arrival, and departure times, compressed shifts, and work weeks — these are all in big demand as a new generation of employees ditches nine-to-five routines for a more flexible, technology-facilitated work life. More than ever before, your flexible workforce is also a digitally-enabled workforce — relying heavily on secure and uninterrupted IT access.

Flex Jobs: Who Does It?

It’s 2018 — flexibility today is no longer just about mums with babies returning to the office. About 30 percent of dads now use flexible hours to care for kids. Flexibility has gone mainstream: one-third of Australian employees regularly work from home, and forty percent of workers say flexibility is in the top three factors they consider when making career decisions. Thirty percent of multinationals surveyed by commercial real estate agents CBRE have a shared-desk workplace strategy in place.

flexible working conditions

The Future of Flex: Where It’s Going

In Australia, employees have a legal right to ask for flexible working arrangements. And flexible work is not going away: the workforce of the future doesn’t just like flexible work, they expect it. EY’s Future of Work report found that 75 per cent of millennials want flexible work; while Deloitte’s 2017 millennial survey shows that flexible working encourages loyalty when it’s built on a two-way exchange of trust.

Flex Specs: What They’re Doing

What does flexible work look like today? A Fair Work Commission analysis of flexible work practices found that businesses are most likely to offer ‘banking’ hours, flexible leave, and flexible start and finish times to all their staff. But the single most common flexi work style for some (not all) staff at any workplace is ‘teleworking’ — 58 percent of companies have staff working remotely. Traditional work specifications of location and time become flexible.

Flex Techs: How They Do It

Flexible location and/or time relies primarily on internet-enabled ways to collaborate and communicate with other staff, customers, and suppliers. Today’s workforce is signing up to a dizzying array of cloud-based tools. Files are swapped in real-time using systems like Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive. Group messaging and live commentary on shared documents, company-wide and beyond, happens in Slack, Jostle, Yammer, and even Facebook’s Workplace. You’ll see project collaboration and customer-tracking in Asana, Basecamp, Jira, and Salesforce. Live access to SME company accounts happens via Xero, Freshbooks, QuickBooks, and MYOB, while large companies now open up remote access to staff using SAP or Oracle. And HR systems like Workday, PeopleSoft — and SAP or Oracle — give remote access to a company’s most sensitive personnel data.

Flex Risks: Bigger Than Ever

It’s no surprise that increased flexibility means increased vulnerability. A 2017 Ponemon report found that 54 percent of US businesses had a successful IT security attack related to their data and/or IT infrastructure — and most of these attacks were file-less.

Flexible work is here, and it’s not going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s bound to impact the way we work for many years to come. Companies are already seeking ways to secure their data and operations without impacting the efficiency of today’s mobile workforce.

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