Agile working overview

Future of work report overview

productivity espresso image-minWe created an extensive report into the value of company culture and its impact on the wider SME economy. This is the fourth in a series of espresso versions of the original. Short and sweet but still full of information.

So, if you are having a coffee break, pause the inbox and immerse yourself in what culture really means for businesses.


Millennial mindset

Working with transparency and autonomy

What does 2020 hold for the future of work? As a rapidly growing small business, we’ve learnt the importance of establishing, defining and then cohesively communicating our company culture, visions and game plan.


Millennial mindsetMillenial mindset-min

Making up 50% of the workforce in 2020 (this figure is predicted to rise to 75% by 2025), millennial matters, matter. This shift in perspective has helped unveil the concept that we are in fact ‘good enough’, ‘failure is learning’ and that ‘change is fundamental for growth’.

Adopting this mindset rids ourselves of the old-age perfectionist rigidity of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and actually plan for mistakes, we can shrug off feelings of inadequacy. This, in turn, promotes accountability while shining a light on both the limitations and opportunities for real personal development and business growth.

As the demand for both flexible working and the gig economy rises, so does the need for accessible automation and autonomy. By choosing to move your employee files and people management to the cloud, not only can you avoid GDPR breaches, but also gain valuable time to work closer with your team.


HR tech

The speed at which technology not only changes - but influences - culture is putting greater pressure on HR and recruitment departments.

Providing a platform for honest, authentic voices as well as public spaces to name and shame companies is making it harder to hide from malpractice exposed online. As such, there is a greater need for transparency and a call for honest and ethical intentions to build trust with not only the consumers but clients, third parties and all small businesses too.

It is perhaps because of this improved connectivity and threat of public company shaming via social media, LinkedIn or feedback surveys that leaders and HR managers are investing in culture.

In 2019 alone, we saw the culture trend soar. We set up the Culture Pledge, an initiative that invites all UK SMEs to join us in committing to establish and create a culture that helps us work smart. 500 companies have currently signed the pledge.


The Good Work Plan

This is a set of proposals based on a 2018 consultation which recognises that businesses need to do more in terms of offering flexible working options to their employees.

The good work plan -minTheresa May set the wheels in motion by challenging businesses to improve workforce equality by advertising all jobs as flexible from ‘day one’. In response, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the CIPD established the Flexible Working Task Force with the aim of improving the provision and uptake of flexible working, for everyone.

For employers, the key points are the legislation which sets out to create fair and decent work, it offers clarity to businesses and employees on contracts/statuses and sets out a process of fairer enforcement.

The Good Work Plan aims:

"To ensure that workers can access fair and decent work, that both employers and workers have the clarity they need to understand their employment relationships, and that the enforcement system is fair and fit for purpose".

The legislation is still - very much - a work in progress. Some of the proposals have already come into effect (in April 2019) with others expected to become law soon.

March 2020 marks the next steps for the Good Work Plan, make sure you’re ready to face these changes with our top five tips for the future of work.

  • Grow trust in the workplace
    From authorities and leadership to mentors, sub-contractors and clients, relationships work better with trust. But how do you create and nurture trust within your company? Evaluate your commitment to values and ethics, teamwork, recognition, empowerment and accountability. Are you leading by example and offering your team the time, attention and tools to focus successfully?

  • Build positive relationships across stakeholders and supply-chains
    Open and collaborative relationships across all business stakeholders and through the supply chain are essential to any business. These relationships shine a light on your culture and can positively promote your company in the market.

  • Community partnerships and networking
    All too often small businesses are remote and hidden away from their local communities. Make your business different, get involved, involve employees in community projects, bring the community in, talk to other businesses, start-ups, local agencies or academia and think about offering local people apprenticeships.

  • Targeted outreach
    How can you extend your reach across the community? For example, how can you better access BAME talent? How can you reach returning to work mothers or access the expertise of older workers? What forums and groups can help you achieve these goals? What market opportunities could you develop?

  • Retain talent
    Critical to the long-term success of any business is engaging and retaining key personnel. We’re moving into a work-space where manual, time-consuming tasks are a thing of filing cabinets’ past and smart work really pays. Watch out for a new focus on people skills, creativity and forward thinking.


This is a brief summary of one of the Culture Economy chapters, please click here to download your full copy of the Culture Economy report.

In 2018 we launched the Breathe Culture Pledge so all organisations can commit to putting their people at the heart of their business. To sign up to the pledge - and join hundreds of other SMEs, please click here.




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