Is flexible working here to stay?
As we have settled into our new offices in central Leeds over the last few months, our team has proven that flexible working is here to stay. Throughout the pandemic, we have been agile to everything thrown our way. Whilst the way we work has adapted, with virtual video calls becoming the new norm, one thing that has stayed the same is our client engagement which helps to curate high-quality bid responses.
Benefits of flexible working
With over 12 highly successful months of remote bid writing and management under our belt, we have developed a robust flexible working approach that delivers the best tenders for our clients. As well as delivering brilliant results, we have increased morale and productivity across the team.
As we have known for a long time, home working has a host of advantages such as:
- Better work-life balance
- Reduced commuter stress
- More time to pursue hobbies
Better work-life balance
It has been cited many times that a happier workforce produces better work and the same can be said for our team. Our team has complete autonomy over their work schedule, and these schedules are coordinated within each team to ensure we maintain a collaborative working environment. By empowering our team to manage their work schedule, we have improved staff morale and continued to deliver high-quality bids.
Reduced commuter stress
The days of sitting in rush hour traffic appear to be a distant memory for a lot of us. With the average commute in the UK taking 1 hour and 38 minutes, it is clear to see the benefits flexible working provides. Without the pressure of navigating rush hour traffic or squeezing onto an overcrowded train, staff can use this time to focus on priorities outside of work such as hobbies, spending time with their families, or exercising.
Less commuting also inherently reduces expenditure. In the UK, full-time workers spend on average £1,738 commuting to and from their place of work. Flexible working helps to reduce their expenditure and reprioritise spending.
Mitigating the challenges of working from home
Whilst flexible remote working has many pros there are a number of cons which we have navigated to ensure our team are constantly supported.
Working from home can become lonely and without regular office interaction, it can be a very isolating experience. Throughout the pandemic, we have developed social touchpoints including an informal “brew and catch up” where our team can sit and chat to each other on a video call, similar to the conversations you have in the kitchen, whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. Our new starters attend these sessions allowing them to integrate into our work culture in a more relaxed environment and get to know their new colleagues.
Communication between Bid Writers and Bid Managers is imperative as it allows them to bounce ideas off each other, storyboard, and develop win themes for tenders. Every day all of our team uses Slack to communicate with each other which has facilitated the creation of some of our best bids and biggest wins.
Another way to address isolation is by having regular exercise breaks. To encourage our team to undertake more exercise we have embarked on a collective Walkathon. Each week we feedback on how many steps we have completed and, slowly but surely, we are working our way around the globe.
To support flexible working we have completely revamped our induction procedure to support the inclusion of new starters into our work culture both in person and virtually. All current staff members attend induction sessions either virtually or in the office making sure that the new employees meet everyone be it over our social channels or in the office.
The biggest distraction when working from home is how comfortable it feels. All the devices we own vie for our attention, so it is important to minimise distractions around you. Setting up a clear workspace with plenty of natural light, away from the comforts of your living room is a sure way to improve productivity.
Working from home also encourages you to constantly be online. It can become hard to leave work when you’re at home as you have not physically left the office and packed up for the day. It is important to remain disciplined and once you are in a comfortable position to finish the day then you must do so, as it can be quite easy to suffer from burnout by constantly being online.
It seems as though flexible working is here to stay. We are already seeing a shift in the way companies are set to operate over the next few years with more and more opting to work from home. Empowering staff to control their own time and create their own workspace not only increase morale but productivity, as a happier workforce delivers better results. At HealthBid, we recognise employees have differing working preferences and by providing them with the choice of where they want to work, either in-office or from home, we have maximised satisfaction and productivity.
Written by Josh Atherton, Bid Manager