The term fluid working means individuals working anywhere, anyhow, anytime.
The ethos of fluid working is one of focusing on productivity and the
benefits of being able to spend more time with your family,
not having to commute, that sort of intention.
Working anywhere, anyhow, anytime.
That we can do these things—reduce our carbon footprint from commuting and also spend more time with our children and attending to hobbies—and still remain highly productive is perhaps not really surprising.
Whether or not we all articulated that we could be working remotely, at least a lot of the time, I think that we all knew it, deep down.
Digital technology enables us to lead more balanced lives in a profound way. It is about more than just working from home. We now have the tools for fluid work in motion—to make work the way we want, and to blend our personal and professional lives into a mixture that brings out the best of both.
A highly individualised approach is the foundation for fluid working. Each person needs a bespoke arrangement—and so you need flexible technology that all works together well. But scaling that across a whole organisation could prove to be difficult.
Technology is the answer to allowing employees to decide where, when, and how they work—whilst also being easily managed through a common set of controls and tools.
It is at least as big a change in daily life since the advent of factory work in the Industrial Revolution. And this time at least, it feels like more equitable progress, benefiting all workers. But while change can happen fast, progress tends to come in fits and starts.
Businesses are now untethered from the constraints of old ‘industrial’ ways of working, those inspired by a factory model, with clanging bells and punch cards and the first steel-frame buildings erected to house huge productive machines.
We’ve got an opportunity now for employees to be more fulfilled and achieve the right balance of work and life. But many companies are missing the mark by thinking that the answer is strictly hybrid working—a binary choice of office or home.terprise-grade graphics and pro-level storage.
If you look at the numbers, there’s no question that the difference between hybrid working, or “office/home”, and fluid working, or “work anywhere” is a real emergent phenomenon. In the UK, for example, the number of hybrid workers grew this year, from 13% in early February to 24% in May 2022, according to the Office of National Statistics.
But the number of fluid workers is likely much higher—as, according to the ONS data, 38% of working adults reported having worked from home at some point over the past seven days.
Some of us want to come into work one day a week, while others prefer working from home
just once weekly. To flow in the right direction, and to render the transformation of work complete,
companies need to allow—and facilitate—all styles.
That’s fluid working.