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Flexibility is a must-have!

06 Jul, 2021

Who would have thought that an infectious virus would be a catalyst for organisational development in businesses across the world?

Opinion piece by Siri Langangen, Senior Vice President HR at Statkraft

 

It has been a while since they first knocked on the door, the jobseekers who wondered how much flexibility Statkraft could offer its employees. Before March 2019, our answer to that question was "something", and for a long time, this answer was good enough. That is no longer the case. In the battle to retain and attract the best minds, we believe organisational flexibility will be an important competitive advantage going forward. Hybrid work, the combination of home office and office work, is a way to increase flexibility.

Statkraft recently launched new guidelines for hybrid work across the almost 20 countries where we produce solar, wind and hydropower. Managers can, together with employees, agree on up to 40% flexibility. The target group is employees who mainly perform office-based work. We see this as a starting point for the further discussion of hybrid work. Through continuous learning and adjustments, we will be able to find effective hybrid forms of working in the future.

We have learned some lessons so far:

1. Do not wait for the perfect approach. As working life returns to normal, the likelihood of falling back into old practice is likely to increase. Find a starting point for hybrid work that allows you to adjust based on experience and evaluation. It is better to get started than to wait too long.

2. Assess which structural and practical changes can support a workday with increased flexibility. The introduction of more hybrid work should be supported by skills development within management, meeting culture and technology.

3. Give authority to leaders and teams to find the best solutions. They have the best knowledge of what is needed for tasks to be handled in the best possible way in a hybrid working day. Avoid over-bureaucratization.

Siri Langangen is Senior Vice President HR at Statkraft

More hybrid work brings with it some potential challenges: How can we ensure that employees continue to take part in and develop the corporate culture - also in a future where fewer people meet in the office? How to avoid office days not just being filled with digital meetings that can just as well be taken from home, and it feels pointless to go to the office?

We continue to have strong faith in the power of physical encounters and interactions. This is where some of the unique moments and spontaneous ideas arise. At the same time, increased flexibility can provide some benefits for where, when, and how we work. Hybrid work is largely about getting the best of both worlds and that the result is increased productivity and commitment among employees.

And one thing we now have another answer to: The jobseekers who knock on the door in the future will get the answer, "Yes, Statkraft has high confidence in its managers and employees and offers flexibility".