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MERJE Insights: “There will be lots of enduring changes accelerated or created by the pandemic. The ones which stick will include the ‘rules’ around the way we work and think about resourcing.

  • Publish Date: Posted 5 months ago
  • Author:by MERJE

Rhythm Solutions Co-Founder Nick Websdell discusses whether Covid-19 has changed the way we work forever and examines if the ‘fractional’ model is becoming more relevant.

Rhythm, which provides risk and business management solutions, aims to help businesses become safer, simpler and more profitable, which is particularly pertinent given the current climate.

Nick has extensive experience across a wide range of disciplines, having worked at senior level with various parts of the Co-operative Bank and Co-operative Group, including Financial Services, Retail, Funerals and in a number of functions, such as Finance & Risk.

Here, Nick addresses a question which many of us are currently pondering over: Are businesses starting to take a more flexible approach to resourcing as well as working?

I’m sure there will be lots of enduring changes accelerated or created by the pandemic.  Table service in pubs can continue, as far as I’m concerned, and I’m also planning to keep shopping more locally than I used to.

I’m certain that the changes which stick will include the ‘rules’ around the way we work, and also the way companies think about resourcing.

Most people – certainly those in office-based roles – have been working entirely or predominantly at home for more than a year now. If you had suggested this in any business at the start of 2020, you would most likely have been laughed out of the room (you see, we could actually be in rooms together then).

This enforced change looks set to have a permanent impact on how we work. While some disagree (notably Goldman Sachs, where the CEO considers working from home during the pandemic as an ‘aberration’) others (Spotify and Amazon) are adopting ‘work from anywhere’ policies.

Nationwide Building Society recently announced that it is giving employees a much greater degree of choice regarding where they work from, and is closing offices as a result, and PWC is adopting a more flexible, blended approach which enables staff to mix home and office working, while offering the ability to condense their hours. Early finish on Fridays anyone?

In my view, this new approach is also making companies think about how they resource; if they don’t need people to come to the office, are there other areas of flexibility?

The ‘fractional’ model is already well established across Finance and HR disciplines, where it’s not unusual now to see part-time Chief Financial Officers or HR Directors.  Some great people have created fulfilling careers operating at a senior level across a portfolio of clients.

Fractional in this context really means part-time.

I think this model works in other disciplines too, including Risk Management and Business Management.

All businesses need to cover broadly the same disciplines including Finance, Marketing, Risk, Sales and Operations but it makes sense that they will need different amounts of resources and varying levels of experience, depending on their size and complexity.

Smaller businesses may well not have a full-time requirement for a Head of Risk or Chief Risk Officer, but as they grow and become more complex, they would benefit from access to experienced people to help develop frameworks and processes.

So, why not bring in a fraction of a CRO? This means they will get 100% of the experience at a fraction of the cost.

Similarly, a business might be going through a period of growth or change, or have a new senior team in place. This business would surely benefit from the experience of someone who has worked through similar situations, creating efficient operating rhythms, alongside the environment and routines to enable an effective team to develop. The requirement may well not be full-time or permanent though.

Again, why not bring in a fraction of a Chief of Staff or Business Manager?

This model can benefit businesses and individuals alike. For the former, it offers access to experience and expertise they frankly do not need on a full-time basis and otherwise would not be able to afford. For the latter, it brings flexibility and variety as they work with a range of businesses, utilising their hard-earned experience to make a difference.

Rhythm Solutions specialises in offering Risk and Business Management services and is well placed to adapt their expertise in order to support businesses in a flexible way, including fractional positions such as Chief Risk Officer, Head of Risk, Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Staff and Business Manager.

MERJE is committed to helping clients in any way required, taking the time to explore the different resourcing solutions which ultimately meet individual business needs. If you would like to discuss specially adapted recruitment options for your business, please get in touch – info@merje.com