arhivă

Arhiva etichetelor: flexible work

3.  Multiple sources of income

Partly, this is a result of the previous trend. Partly, this is triggered by the same impatience that makes us switch TV channels one after the other or do five things in the same time.

More and more people move into freelance work, contract work, part time work, project work or all of the above. The result is that there is a little income from here, a little from there, an occasional income from somewhere else. Sometimes it’s a salary, from another project it can be a commission, from a small business it’s a profit. There might be some rent coming in from our first studio. This situation can become hectic in terms of how we work, but it can also allow time for jogging, for reading, for family, much more than what a normal job would allow. In a way, it’s less stable. But it’s also less risky, as not all the eggs are in the same basket.

Some people get to this situation by reducing the time they spend on their regular job, while young people might get into this situation because they simply can’t find a full time job, so they help here and there or they try out an idea.

If you’re a leader and you need to get some work done, don’t think that employing a few more people is the only way to go. Be innovative in your search for talent. Agree on a project result with someone and stick a reward to that project. Don’t promise employment and retirement packages. If there’s someone in your team that you don’t want there in the long run but whom you don’t want to just let go, set up a project based co-operation. It’s a nice way out, that allows them an income while they look for something else.

If you think about yourself, see how this trend sounds like to you. Can you picture yourself in the context described above? Do you feel it would give you wings? Can you afford not to have a stable source of income? Or does this scenario scare you?

Think about it. 10 or 20 years ago, making a decent living like this would not have been easy at all. Now, with the emergence of the service industries and with the explosion of the means to stay in touch, to promote yourself and to add value, it’s doable. But to succeed, you must really be good at something. Whether it’s  graphic design, social media, coaching others on public speaking, business restructuring or what have you, you need to have a strong pillar to be able to benefit from this trend. Contrary to what people are tempted to imagine, you don’t need to be good at 10 things to succeed with this trend, but you need to be unbelievably good at one. And passionate about it. Then projects will come. And with them, joy. And also money.

If you think this is not for you, don’t exclude it entirely from your mind. Your employer might surprise you one day.

It’s helpful to know what are the global trends in the way people work. If you’re a leader, or if you’re only responsible for yourself, you know what to expect and how to prepare.

Please find below 4 of the directions that can be felt already and that are likely to shape the lives of people and organizations in the years to come.

1.  Flexible work hours

The early stages are here already. More and more companies are allowing people to arrive at work between 7 and 10 and leave 8 hours later, for instance. But this is just the beginning. People are going to ask for larger lunch breaks, for the possibility of working from outside the office, for days off compensated by 2-3 hours extra in the other days and so on.

If you’re a leader, don’t oppose it. Yes, there may be corporate procedures and habits and paradigms that support the traditional way of working. But if you just defend these things without giving people a chance to try out the changes they suggest, you might find yourself losing the loyalty and energy of the people and, possibly, even the people themselves. And, as you’ve probably seen along the years, the first ones to leave are not the ones you’d like to get rid of but the ones you’d like to keep.

Give people the chance to have what they ask for. A simple way to do this without jeopardizing your business is to make people responsible for results, not for tasks. You won’t be next to them to see what they’re doing but they should report the results you expect. Monitor their results closely and see what happens. If it works out, it’s a win-win – you get the results, they get the schedule that fits them. If it doesn’t work out, you return to business as usual and you have an extra leverage on your people: you’re not the one who did not allow them to try something new, you’re the one who trusted them and whom they have failed.

If you’re thinking about yourself, think about the schedule that would really suit you. Avoid asking for a different schedule just because someone else is asking for it. Think about the life style you want, about the chores you have to do, about the things you’d like to spend more time on. Think twice. And when you’re sure this new schedule would not compromise your work performance, go and ask for it. Insist, but not too much.

If they give it to you, make sure you over deliver. You’ll be closely watched. Respect your commitments. Enjoy your other activities. If you see it doesn’t work, don’t wait until the boss tells you it doesn’t work. Take the initiative to change back. If it works, don’t brag about it to your colleagues, as you might not do them any good. Just enjoy it and make the best out of every day.

If they don’t give it to you, even though it’s important to you, still do your best, but be ready to leave.

 

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