Increased Flexibility in the Workplace – We Finally Did It!
Rowben Consulting, like a lot of companies, has traditionally embraced suits and set working hours.
Three months ago, this all changed.
We decided to become a more flexible workplace. As a result, our days and our dress code are now looking very different.
You may laugh. You may wonder, ‘what’s the big deal?’ or ‘why only now?’. You might be thinking that I’m a bit old school, or that introducing these policies is not particularly different or difficult.
And perhaps you’re right.
However, for me, it wasn’t that straightforward. Starting your own business, as I did twelve years ago, is a big move. Developing it, handling the ups and downs, and dealing with the ever-changing market while always positioning yourself to deliver, grow and adapt is an even tougher prospect. It’s taken a lot of hard work to build Rowben Consulting into the company it is today and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in this time.
Part of me thought, ‘why change it?’. Last year was our best since our inception; why make a move that might potentially mess that up?
The reality is, implementing change when something is working well can be daunting.
But in the end, I decided to do it.
I made the change for a number of reasons, but mostly it was about the team. I trust and respect them. They model our core values day in, day out. So why not let them feel more in control of that day and their own success?
We already have policies in place that target the team’s wellbeing; days off, working from home options, massages, healthy food and great functions. But I was conscious that most of these measures are not things that team members can control themselves. They don’t allow for ownership or accountability – allowing flexibility does.
It not that suits are a thing of the past for us at Rowben Consulting – we all understand there are times when it’s appropriate to don something more formal or work certain hours. But I know I have a team that can be trusted to make those decisions.
While I introduced these flexible work practices as a trial, the team have really embraced them. There hasn’t been the often-touted drop in productivity; conversely, we’re seeing really positive effects. And I have to admit: wearing casual clothes on a wet, miserable day has been a real winner this winter.
Tracee Rowe August 2017