If there’s anything positive to say about the past 12 months of lockdown, it may be the fact that businesses and employees have had the opportunity to reflect on our modern work culture.
Companies that have had the majority of their workforce successfully working from home for close to a year can now see that flexible working arrangements can benefit everybody, and many now want to maintain that in a post-pandemic world.
On the employee side, you may have got used to the new rhythm of life with no commute and no need to spend out on store-bought lunches every day. For the majority of office workers, some sort of blend that allows both the sociability of the office and the practical nature of home-working seems to be best.
While some companies are still in the early stages of figuring out flexible working, others already have it very much ingrained as part of their culture. Here are some industries and roles to look into if you want to make work-life balance the focus of your next career move.
Start-up companies have a very different culture from their traditional counterparts, which is a big part of the charm for many of their workers. While start-ups can often be intense places to work, with lots to get done and less stability than more established companies, the trade off usually comes in the form of far more options on when and where you want to work. Start-up companies often let their employees set their own schedules, and usually have working from home (or from your local coffee shop) available for anyone who wants to take advantage.
It’s not just the young upstarts that are embracing working from home and other types of flexible arrangement – the larger tech companies, such as Google, are also well known for accommodating the needs of their teams. Given that technology is often seen as one of the barriers to a good work from home culture, it’s not surprising that businesses with more technical know-how are finding it easier to adapt.
Tech is also a great industry for job-hunters to try and get into: there are always lots of roles available, and you don’t necessarily need to be a technical whiz yourself. Large companies will always need a variety of roles, from finance to marketing and everything in between.
Speaking of finance, it’s easy to imagine financial services companies as being old-fashioned or stuck in their ways. In actual fact, many of the UK’s biggest banking companies seem to be leading the charge for embracing working from home as part of the ‘new normal’. They are currently looking at ways to cut down on their space and offer more options for their workers. It’s not surprising, considering the money that they can save by reducing their office requirements. It’s also a great way to attract to talent into the firm.
Use sites such as Glassdoor to find out more about a business’s culture before applying. Many companies will now also advertise any flexible working policies as part of the job advert. It’s also fine to ask about the culture at interview: this is a common question, and will give you a good feel for how a team operates.