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Flexible working is vital if companies want to stay ahead and think long term, a symposium heard last week.
1. There is a shrinking talent pool. During the next decade it is predicted that there will be a huge gap between supply and demand of skilled workers.
2. Generation Y is likely to be characterised by changing family structures, with fathers increasingly willing to take on a lot more of the childcare.
3. Increased numbers of skilled women (58% of higher education students are
female in the US and EU)
4. Changing expectations of men – for instance, they won’t sacrifice their personal/family time to the degree that the current Generation X-ers do.
5. A 20% increase in families where both parents work.
6. Growing technological changes which make flexible working easier.
Their model centres around four areas where flexibility can be built into the way a person chooses to work: pace [the pace of their career progression], workload, location [where work is performed] and role [the amount of responsibility they are willing to take on].
Employees taking part were given a choice to either "dial up" (increase workloads) or "dial down" (decrease workloads). Many choose to accelerate their careers before they have family responsibilities, but those who choose to “dial down” can “dial up” when they feel able and ready.
With regard to performance, Deloitte employees are judged by their output, not the hours they put in and those who work fewer hours do not feel devalued, Deloitte told the symposium.