Episode 10: The Future of Work, Flexible Working and Work Life Balance with Kate Isichei
Comms In A Nutshell is your go to place to listen to discussions with industry experts, global brands and our hosts Vic McEwan & Scott Ritchie about the most pressing topics surrounding the world of work and internal communications.
In this episode Vic & Scott are chatting to Kate Isichei, Managing Director of Where to look communications who has over 15 years of experience in the world of internal communications and who also has her own podcast ‘Engagement Express’. Kate is a lover of intranets, tech, employee apps and the subjects of leadership, strategy, collaboration and in this episode we spoke about all things future of work focusing on flexible working, hybrid work and work life balance. We covered:
- Is there a correct formula for flexible working?
- Trust in the workplace
- How to make hybrid work, work
- Encouraging employees back to the office
- The four day week
- The key to work life balance
Listen to the interview below, and be sure to subscribe to Comms In A Nutshell on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast player for all the latest episodes and discussions.
The role of the people manager is changing now. So it's less about command and control and more about collaboration and supporting employees to build relationships in this new remote working way. So having a blanket policy, I don't think works, but having a framework I think does. So we say, like you say, um, like you said earlier one to two days, you know, maybe working from the office or, you know, but it's not rigid and it's not on the same days. Um, but you know, there's an understanding there that, you know, you will come in every now and again, you know, I think it's really hard. I've seen companies struggle with this. I've seen a lot of companies struggle with it because it's not prescriptive and it can't be prescriptive, but yeah, as time goes on, I think organisations will learn to adapt to understand the ambiguity around it. It's, it's a new way of thinking isn't it.
The Importance of Wellbeing
You've just got to focus on your wellbeing. I mean, for me personally, I put my wellbeing at the forefront of my mind every day. So obviously work's important to me. I want to make sure I do a good job for my clients and do good work, but my primary objective is to stay well and stay healthy. So organisations are now pivoting. I hate that word because it's so overused during the pandemic, but I'll use it now anyway, um, to focus in more on wellbeing. That's, I'm seeing that as a primary objective around strategy businesses are saying first and foremost, our employees need to be healthy. They need to be, well, they need to be happy psychologically, spiritually, physically first and foremost. And then we do the work. We look at the work, we look at the projects, whereas before it was the other way around and some companies are still lagging behind the curve. So yeah, I would say those companies are a wise, uh, you know, clever put, put their wellbeing first, put their employees' wellbeing first.
Work From Anywhere
I even still see it to this day, remote based, um, based anywhere, you know, that kind of terminology and it, it was never have I seen that before. Um, but it has reduced, it has decreased somewhat, but the more forward thinking companies, I think the newer companies, perhaps the ones who have, you know, open cultures, less hierarchical are open to being people being remote, um, even a hundred percent remote, not necessarily being based in, even in the same country. Um, and that's a really good thing, but, and you are right in saying that talent acquisition is driving. Um, you know, a lot of those decisions. So those companies who want the talent actually have to be flexible. And it's interesting how there are still many organisations that are digging their heels in and you know, talking about office returning to the office. But yeah, I think at some point they'll have to revise their, their stance because if you want the best people, the best people are clearly wanting some level of flexibility.
Have you listened to our previous episode?
In our last podcast episode Vic & Scott sit down with our Director of Product, Dave Ferguson who teaches us all about:
- What Adaptive Intelligence is
- What features make up Adaptive Intelligence
- What problems it solves
- The benefits of Adaptive Intelligence
- How it can help to personalise the employee experience
- What the future of adaptive intelligence looks like
Listen to the interview here and be sure to subscribe to Comms In A Nutshell on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast player for all the latest episodes and discussions.