ad collaborative post // The global fight against Covid-19 continues and the pandemic has changed the ways we live and work forever. But many firms are faced with the phenomenon of the ‘Great Resignation’ – whereby employees who have been unhappy with their work/life balance for some time have had more time for introspection and finally decided to ditch jobs that are making them unhappy.

While some of us are desperate to return to the camaraderie of the office and to escape our homes for a few hours each day, many don’t miss the boredom and expense of a lengthy commute, or workplace hours and cultures which have felt hopelessly out of date and inflexible for years.

If you’ve got itchy feet at work, you’ll be glad to know that there are several organizations which are ready to offer good workers terms and conditions that are as flexible as possible – in fact several have been operating in a more progressive way for years.

Here are three diverse firms embracing the new normal:

1. Timpson

A household name in the UK for generations, shoe repair and key cutting company Timpson is a family firm which has always been highly-rated as a great place to work, with an ‘upside down’ structure where frontline staff are actively encouraged to instigate changes by management.

Its attitude to supporting staff wellbeing has always been impressive and Sir James Timpson has even penned a Guide to Mental Health at Work. With this type of transparency and open-mindedness, it’s evident that Timpson’s values aren’t a load of old cobblers.

2. Perpetual Guardian

New Zealand estate planning experts Perpetual Guardian has been dispensing excellent fiduciary advice for over 135 years but that doesn’t mean that it’s behind the time in adapting to new ways of working. In fact, the firm pioneered a 4-day working week several years ago whereby staff cut their working week by the equivalent of a day, with the same output expectations and no change in salary.

Performance improved and employees were happier – so logically, it adopted the practice permanently. Teams have to co-ordinate their weeks so that customer service is never compromised, but that aside, staff can choose an entire day off, two half days, later starts or earlier finishes – whatever makes their lives easier.

3. Ormiston Wire

Specialist wire manufacturer Ormiston Wire was founded back in 1793 by enterprising Scotsman James Ormiston and first sold spring wire for wigs and corsets in London’s theatres. It now manufactures everything from catenary wire for transport applications to hanging rigs for architectural sculptures and has implemented a 4.5 day week for the past 35 years!

Again, this company has found no reduction in productivity from implementing a shorter working week and many staff report feeling more motivated.

So there you have it – a hat-trick of firms embracing the new normal. Which just goes to show that if your current employer remains wedded to outdated working practices, there are plenty of places which will be more accommodating!

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