Future of Work: Flexibility


01 Mar, 2023

Insights from Kerry Young, Chief People Officer at Vitrifi and AllPoints Fibre

Kerry Young is the Chief People Officer and the Executive responsible for HR, HSQE & Shared Services at Vitrifi and AllPoints Fibre. She is currently focussed on shaping the future of work through establishing inclusive and scalable People & Culture strategies, frameworks and processes across the complete HR Lifecycle.

Vitrifi was created to empower the UK wholesale fibre broadband market, using next generation tooling that reduces the cost to serve and will provide a data driven customer experience. AllPoints Fibre are transforming internet connectivity in the UK, with a new deployment method that minimises customer disruption and streamlines the fibre installation process.

A better perspective for the future of work

“The whole idea of having to go into a particular location, to work a set number of hours so that everyone can see you working is no longer applicable for the current knowledge economy that we are in,”

“We get the best work out of [knowledge economy] workers when they have the flexibility to focus on key work items for a period of time and take regular breaks.”

The typical work day of 9-5 has not been designed for people that don’t have any outside influences. People with young families are less able to help raise their children if they are having to physically commute to a particular location for 8 hours a day and then return. Not everyone is a morning person and some people get their key creative cycles later in the day. The current way of work day has not been designed to get the best outcome and productivity from these types of workers.

“For me, the future of work is looking at ‘where can we get the best out of people and how can we get the best out of people?’

Operating asynchronously still allows work get done on time. People are less stressed and it allows for a wider talent pool, too. The future of work is not necessarily about commuting into a head office, having everyone seated in a row and working at the same time. Instead, the future of work is about transitioning to new ways of working that will prioritise greater flexibility.

The ‘workplace’ is evolving

The workplace of the future is less of a place and more a moment in time [regardless of location] in which people collaborate to solve a problem or complete a task.

Space will still help define what work is, where and when it can be done. We are familiar with physical workspaces: the traditional office, operating plant or factory. But now, we also have non-traditional workspaces: the home, café and co-working/ flex space. These are enabled by the use of different platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp, and technologies are beginning to push the boundaries of what a workspace actually is.

Key insights

Flexibility is the top driver for candidates looking for new roles and companies looking to attract talent. The world’s largest four-day working week trial recently concluded and almost all of the companies that participated have decided to continue with a reduced working hours model. Flexibility is being open to alternative ways to produce the required outputs and productivity for a given role and the organisation.

People want value-driven organisations and they want to align with organisations that share the same values that they have. There is a shift towards purpose-driven organisations because people want a greater sense of meaning from the work they are doing. The ability for people to tailor their lives into work is becoming more prevalent and is creating a shift from work-life balance into work-life integration.

Organisations need more personalisation for workers. It’s not just about what an organisation can do for a candidate but what the candidate can do for the organisation and how they can deliver that. People are more interested in flexible approaches to work delivery that are personal to them, their skillset and challenges.