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deputy Editor, training journal @LightbulbJo

Cook looks I

am one of 45 per cent of UK employees who work flexibly. Te reasons that we

want to work flexibly are different for each of us and, with 70 per cent of UK employees saying that they would be put off from applying for a job that doesn’t offer flexible working, it’s an important thing to consider in any organisational or management role.1 Working flexibly at times that

suit employers/clients and employees makes sense. I’m writing this at half-seven in the evening while I’m feeling productive – I wasn’t feeling that way this morning and working from home enables me to do this. Tis way of working impacts on or-

ganisations in many ways. It can increase morale and productivity by providing employees with the time to concentrate without distractions.2

It allows them to

Flexible working, either with your own company or for an employer, brings communication triumphs and challenges

work in an environment that is comfort- able, perhaps set up with the particular technology the employee prefers. Flexible working, either with your

own company or for an employer, brings communication triumphs and challeng- es. TJ’s editor Debbie Carter and I work geographically remotely from each other – we use the standard phone calls, texts and emails to keep in touch. One of our main forms of communication, though, is Skype. It’s great to drop little mes- sages during the day, the type of note or question you might ask the person sitting next to you, or the personal chit chat then helps to develop relationships. More than that, it allows us to see

each other face-to-face and react with all those other visual cues. When I

Jo Cook reflects on modern communication

was upset recently, Debbie was able to see it and react accordingly; when I’m beaming about success, she can see that too. Tere is also the benefit of being able to share each other’s screens when working together. Modern communication techniques

largely rely on technology, and that isn’t always easy. Some organisations struggle because their firewalls won’t let the communication through, their internet or Wi-Fi connections may not be strong enough to cope with a group call, or they just don’t set an expectation with their employees that they will have the software on their computer, or an appropriate headset to avoid broadcasting to all and sundry. For some people, working from

home can be isolating, but a way to get over the seclusion is to work with a local group. You take along your laptop for the day and get together with like-minded people, such as the London-based #LnDcowork.3 Whichever way

you go, in person or online, the main thing is to use technology well to enhance your communication. Tat’s what it’s all about!

Jo Cook is the deputy

editor of TJ and is re- sponsible for www. trainingjournal. com/webinars and the online community. She can be contacted at jo.cook@training

References 1 Flexible Working For Employees

2 Flexible Working for Employers

3 L&D Coworking bit. ly/2aOBW1w

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