Starting A Workstyle Revolution
Conversations between ‘Corporate Rebels’ like us inevitably end up taking the same line of personal enquiry. What was it that made you snap? What was the final straw? What made you determined to go against the grain?
For my good friend, Lizzie Penny (also co-founder ofHoxby) and myself it was the life-changing experiences we both happened to have around the same time in 2014. These events not only redirected our respective career paths down a yellow brick road to enlightenment but pushed us even further towards creating a revolution for change - for everyone.
The catalyst for change
2014 for me brought total burnout which stopped me in my tracks, quite literally. The sheer exhaustion I suffered and even an apathy I was beginning to feel was not in my character. I knew I needed to make a significant change.
Meanwhile, Lizzie was celebrating the birth of her first child, Finn - simultaneously waving hello to motherhood and goodbye to the solid sense of self-identity that had always provided the foundation to her career. We were led to a singular conclusion - that we should all be free to choose for ourselves when and where we work instead of being dictated to by our employer in the traditional one-size-fits-all system.
Coining the new word was a bit of a no-brainer, as was carving out the new ‘rules’ for the revolution we were determined to start.
It just made sense. Instead of the majority of the global population trying to fit their lifestyle around their work - with too many failing miserably - the revolution insists that work must fit around life. So, true to the name-blending trend of all the great celebs of our time - ‘workstyle’ came to be.
It was immediately clear to us that having the complete autonomy to choose when and where we worked was having a hugely positive impact on our wellbeing and productivity. The team of associates we recruited to join the workstyle revolution (zero arm-twisting required) with regular work through Hoxby, are further proof that this type of work is what the world needs and it must be our future.
Tried and tested
One of the positive outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic has been the growth in understanding the capabilities and benefits of the meta universe in the workplace. This has forced businesses to be more open-minded about changing their parameters for employees and not many have looked back, maintaining hybrid and flexible working. But it’s not enough.
Workstyle gives us the freedom to design work around life - which, let’s face it, is never predictable - and neither are we as humans.
Lizzie and I have spent the last seven years testing and proving that workstyle is the way forward. Not only does it enable employees to work harmoniously and at their most productive, but it proves that businesses can be inclusive of everyone, breaking down barriers that are insurmountable in the 9-5 system.
Right at the start of our journey when the burning question was how would we get the message across to enough people to make a difference, we decided we wanted to write a book. We were itching to write about workstyle and the huge benefits in store for workstylers everywhere but we knew we had to wait and fully prove the model first.
A revolution for wellbeing, productivity and society’
Seven incredibly busy years later, having created £7 million of workstyle work for 2,500 workstylers - many with profoundly inspiring stories they want to share - we finally feel ready to proudly present our Workstyle book in all its game-changing glory.
We’ve had an increasing number of requests for interviews and for more information to help people understand our way of working and now this book gives us somewhere to direct them.
Our collective of over 600 Hoxby associates (Hoxbies) have pushed for the book’s release too, eager to have a way to explain the case for workstyle and how it has come to be that they are living their best lives! Without a hint of smug, they are genuinely desperate to share the love and encourage colleagues and friends to join them in the revolution.
A defining moment in history
The unknown territory of post-pandemic society has ignited questions, new approaches and pushed people to search for new ways of working that facilitate our digital age successfully. There’s a huge opportunity in this, but an emerging risk too.
If people don’t pull together and create one movement towards a new way of inclusive working and instead pull in their own directions, the impact is diluted and the big opportunity will be lost. In particular we feel there’s a risk that ‘hybrid’ working becomes the new ‘flexible’ working - neither of which enable individual choice (and its benefits) in the way that workstyle does.
If we don’t all start talking about our workstyles now, we will miss a golden opportunity to improve our way of life, redefine inclusion at work and further human development. At this defining moment in our history, workstyle gives everyone a way to redefine the way they work with a shared understanding and language that can have a lasting impact on society.
We can’t wait to get our book out there and in front of the masses. It comes highly recommended as a great conversation starter at the water cooler…
This is a guest post from Alex Hirst, co-founder of Hoxby, a purpose-led organisation that exists to create a happier, more fulfilled society through a world of work without bias. For more information on Alex and the company, check out his rebel page.