2 Considering changing work practices
Whichever sector you are considering, employers are likely to be making changes to improve productivity and to require increased flexibility from employees to achieve this. As you learned in Week 1, there has been a rapid rise in the number of self-employed workers since 2012, but there are many forms of working patterns other than a typical 9-to-5 day in a large organisation. Employers are increasingly exploring alternative working arrangements that are broadly described as ‘flexible working’.
You may be aware of other changes that could have an impact on your role, for example, the increase of online banking has dramatically changed the role of bank cashiers and tellers.
Activity 3 Changing work practices
Use thepage of the Open University Careers and Employability Services website to research a working practice that differs from your own. Options include home working, part-time work, self-employment and entrepreneurship, among others.
Note down your comments as you consider the following:
- To what extent is this a work style in the sector that you are interested in? Or for certain roles? For example, homeworking is not going to be possible for aircraft cabin crew!
- Is it a work style that is increasing in an area that you are interested in?
- What benefits might there be to an employer in this sector of an employee (you) working in this way? For example, could it make customer contact possible out of standard office hours, or work better for clients in other time zones? Are there compromises you might propose for this flexibility? For example, could you suggest working from the office one day a week if you were a homeworker the rest of the time?
Forewarned is forearmed. Taking time to consider the changing requirements in your sector can help you position yourself better.
In particular, when staff are making a case for change, it is very common for people to identify and talk about the benefits for themselves, rather than giving equal consideration to the benefits for the employer.