Inclusion Nudge of the Month

Flex Work as the Norm

These are ‘Process’ & ‘Framing’ Inclusion Nudges. You can learn more on pages 120-123 in the Inclusion Nudges Guidebook.

The Challenge

Flexible working is often seen as the exception to the norm and as a benefit or arrangement for just some employees (i.e. women with children). As a result, managers often regard it as a cost and burden, while many employees fear asking for it. A bias prevails that ‘successful employees’ work traditional ways (the norm), and the ‘less committed’ work using flexible models. Yet, research & results show many benefits on productivity, engagement, well-being, and talent attraction when flexible work arrangements are widely available in organisations.

How These Inclusion Nudges Work

PROCESS INCLUSION NUDGE:  For organizations to reap the benefits of flex work, they need to make flex work the default and the norm for all employees and not just for a few.  To do this, change the default to all roles may be worked in a flexible manner. Make the organisation’s flex work model that all positions are flexible. Working flexibly becomes ‘the norm’. Not working flexibly becomes ‘the exception’.  For any roles that are deemed not suitable for flexible working, then the manager has to argue why not and ‘opt out’ of the norm and the standard approach for work. Now, it’s not the employee having to argue to get ‘flex work arrangement’ (as an exemption, as a minority, as an outlier).

FRAMING INCLUSION NUDGE: To support this ‘Process’ Inclusion Nudge, make sure to communicate about the organisation’s commitment for flexible working models in job descriptions, performance reviews, manager communications, etc. Showcase role models (across a wide profile of people & all levels) who are successfully working flexibly and tie this default way of working to achieving the organisation’s strategic goals. Some organisations use phrases like:

Inclusion Nudges (founded by Tinna C. Nielsen and Lisa Kepinski) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://inclusion- nudges.org/. This means you can use the material for free when you share back how and don’t use it for commercial purposes.

Creative Commons License
Weekly Inclusion Nudges by Tinna C. Nielsen and Lisa Kepinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://inclusion-nudges.org/.

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