In a post-pandemic phase, the concept of working hours has inevitably taken on a new dimension. The possibility of an employee, who used to commute daily to the office, to work from home is now a reality on a global scale.
It is, therefore, a priority to define new methodologies, adapt processes and make the necessary adjustments so as not to compromise the productivity of the business. For companies, this may be a challenge but also an opportunity. For workers, a new reality. After all, did the pandemic bring more benefits or challenges to the labour market? Regardless of the business area or structure of each company, the solution has a name: flexibility.
The labour market is constantly changing
Going back to the year 1760, and to the time of the industrial revolution, when factories were implemented in England, a new reality was witnessed: working hours started to exist. However, over the centuries it has been verified that this “is not a natural scenario, and we are slowly witnessing a set of new workforces that are changing this reality”, points out Frederico de Magalhães, CEO of SISQUAL during an interview about “Flexibility” for Jornal de Notícias. Currently, the labour market has modernised and the so-called flexible schedules have appeared. Therefore, the need to adjust the demands of a business to the availability of workers, whether this is defined by shifts or scales, thus depends on the degree of adaptability of each business – and to do so, several digital tools facilitate this adaptation, like SISQUAL WFM.
New solutions influence company’s performance
Here it becomes important to clarify: is there a “pre” and post-pandemic labour market? Yes and no. Workers have new demands, they seek more balance between personal and professional life, but these needs have always been present. What we see is that the global pandemic ended up driving certain behaviours, creating new needs to respond to an ever-changing labour market. According to Airbnb’s CEO, Brian Chesky, in an interview for CNN, “workers are going to dictate the future of the labour market”, whether through remote, hybrid, co-working or other solutions. It is based on this premise that concepts such as “Open Shifts” are emerging, as a new format of workforce management that allows workers to set their schedules.
Having said that, an important question arises: are companies ready to respond to this change?
Benefits Vs Challenges
There is no right answer and no universal solution: companies will have to adapt to the new guidelines – and so will employees. However, rather than defining new solutions or models to follow, we need to consider that change comes with risks. The opinion of several international CEOs is unanimous: the reality of companies will not go back to what it was before the pandemic.
It is therefore essential to mention the important role of managers in this process, because contrary to what employers may fear, the new workforce management tools, such as SISQUAL WFM, do not remove their control, but even give them more flexibility in managing their own time.
And in the future, what will it be like? It is possible to see the situation in two ways: autonomy can help identify business opportunities, such as digital platforms, for example. Consequently, employees will be able to have flexibility about the number of hours they prefer to work. In conclusion, it is necessary to adjust and be responsive to new challenges.