“Job experience and design” - it might not be a term that you are currently familiar with, but this driving force behind flexible working will soon be hitting headlines everywhere. In simple terms it means embracing technology and re-appraising working hours to create a bespoke job experience that suits a person’s individual lifestyle no matter if they’re a flexible worker, freelancer or a small business owner.
Over the last 20 years digital has disrupted industries including retail, hospitality, transport and entertainment, creating a completely new way of how we interact with brands. Just think about Amazon, Airbnb, Uber and Spotify and how these brands now seamlessly fit into your life and deliver a dynamic experience.
To facilitate this, a whole swathe of new roles have been created including user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) designers. These “experience designers” are working away behind the scenes to cleverly orchestrate the way that we use an app, website or interact with a brand at every single touch point. They are the architects who make our interactions with tech enjoyable, fulfilling and productive.
Now let’s turn our attention to the workforce. Tech is also creating a revolution in the way that we work. We now have access to instant messengers, video calls, email and shared drives. Remote working has never been more viable – it’s cost effective for businesses and beneficial for the workforce. It’s proven to save money and lift morale. Business owners are finally embracing flexible working (which encompasses compressed hours, part-time hours, split hours and remote working) and they are reaping the rewards.
As we move into 2019 and beyond, we will really see the rise of Job Experience and Design (JX&D). Forward-looking companies will continue to embrace flexible working, and hire job designers who will really drive change from the ground up. They will create a whole new way of running a workforce. If businesses are slow to do this, then the workforce will simply go out and create their own opportunities: freelancing, starting a small business or taking on contract roles (or a blend of all three) becoming an architect of their own career.
However, this is a journey where we all need support. Driving change before it’s the norm is a brave thing to do, and we all need to stay connected to other people who are just like us to give ourselves the best chance of success.
That is why I started The Flex Network in 2018. I wanted to support people who want to break out of the traditional way of working, and who are passionate about creating a different design of career for themselves. Flexible working, freelancing or owning a small business can easily lead to isolation, imposter syndrome or feeling flat and I wanted to stoke the fires of all the talented men and women who are embracing a new way of finding work that works. Networking, and curating my own tribe, as well as tapping into other networks totally transformed my experience of working from home, my confidence, and the way that I viewed how I might approach my own job experience, and how I might design a new career to fit in with my own personal circumstances.
Find your tribe both online and in person:
Find local networking groups that are embracing a new way of meeting people who are just like you. Check out Space at 61, Takes a Village and Parents In Business and Six Simple Steps here for London-based events, but there are so many going on nationwide.
Follow flexible working advocates on social media. You can follow The Flex Network on Instagram and Twitter. Mother Pukka flies the flag for flexible working and works with high-profile businesses to drive change.
Slack can be used as a virtual co-working space to make you feel connected to other people doing the freelance/flexible working/ small business hustle. Join The Flex Network’s channel here.
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