Why agile working is the key to addressing skills shortages


A large number of companies, even in the digital or technology-led sectors, still follow the traditional 9-5 working day for employees, a working pattern that was introduced in the 1800’s. But whilst back then this meant a welcomed shorter week for factory workers who would often work over 100 hours per week, and abolition of child labour, times have certainly changed yet the 9-5 remains. Our typical family set up’s no longer see every woman staying at home taking on childcare, whilst men work. Yet we are often still expected to work an 8 hour (or longer) working day, at our desks.

Flex Appeal

As a flexible working bill is introduced in Parliament just this week, following three years of campaigning by author and journalist, Anna Whitehouse and her Flex Appeal campaign, the location of where we are required to work and the hours we spend are a hot topic of conversation. Many quite rightly argue it should not be the responsibility of employees in begging employers for flexibility, but the onus should now be on employers to have a good reason why any job cannot be worked flexibly. After all, it comes down to a bit of extra planning ahead, using the right project management tools and ensuring flexible working is for everyone, not just those who have started a family.

Flexible working is something we are hugely passionate about here at Proffy and as a business helping both freelancers and companies use agile workers effectively, when we hear of calls to address skills gaps, a recent one being the technology industry here in Yorkshire, we can’t help but feel the answer is staring business leaders in the face.

There’s progress still to be made

Everyone now has access to communication tools that mean you can source skills and build a team, no matter where they are in the world. Yet business leaders are concerned they can’t recruit in their home town and can’t see beyond that problem, certainly in the short term. Just take a look at London. Businesses based there have successfully been using agile workers for many more years than any other UK city, but why is the rest of the country so slow to adapt?

Read our thoughts

Our founder, Josh Hanning, explores these reasons and shares his thoughts on how we can close the skills gap, in this article on eConsultancy: Addressing the skills shortage for UK tech companies outside London.

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment on the article, or sharing it on your social channels.

If you liked this post, why not read: Five things we can learn from Google about agile working

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