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The Harmony of Hybrid working

30 Mar 2023

This year, a lot of employers are considering implementing return-to-office policies, but could this potentially disrupt the harmony we have become accustomed to since the pandemic?

If you're like me, you've probably experienced a lot of changes in the way you work since the pandemic hit. For me, it's been a transformation for the better - I've switched to hybrid working and found that I'm more productive and engaged than ever before. And it seems like I'm not alone - many companies are embracing hybrid working as the new normal, with some even introducing a 4-day week policy.

Of course, hybrid working isn't without its challenges, especially if your job involves face-to-face interactions like coaching. But as the counselling profession has shown, it's possible to adapt and offer virtual sessions that can be scheduled at a time that's convenient for clients. And as the 'Women and flexible working in the UK' TUC report highlights, hybrid working can offer many potential benefits for women, such as increased flexibility and better work-life balance. However, as the report also points out, women still face significant barriers when it comes to accessing flexible work arrangements. This is a real shame, because women could be the key to solving the UK's labour shortage. While there's been a lot of talk about getting over 50s back into the workforce, we also need to think about how we can give women more opportunities to work in a way that fits their lives. After all, we know that many women want to return to work but face obstacles like childcare costs and inflexible working policies.

So, what can we do to create a more flexible and inclusive workforce? First of all, companies need to be more open to hybrid working and other flexible arrangements. The pandemic has shown that it's possible to work in new and different ways, and now is the time to build on that momentum. We also need to recognise that women are the missing link in the labour shortage, and invest in policies and programs that support their return to work. This could mean offering affordable childcare, supporting women-owned businesses, or even offering job-sharing opportunities.

The bottom line is that we need to be more creative and flexible when it comes to work. Whether you're a working mum, a career changer, or just looking for a better work-life balance, hybrid working can offer a way forward. So let's embrace the opportunities that come with change, and work together to build a brighter and more inclusive future for all women.

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