Connect with us

Business

3 MAJOR MYTHS ABOUT FLAT ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES IN BUSINESS

Published

on

3 MAJOR MYTHS ABOUT FLAT ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES IN BUSINESS

If you’ve worked in a company with a hierarchical or ‘tall’ organisational structure, you’ve probably experienced the frustrations that can arise from dealing with long chains of command and potential bureaucracy. Many modern startups are now championing the idea of flat-level and non-traditional structures to aid talent attraction and recruitment. In this article, Instant Offices take a look at three of the major myths around this kind of working, and why adopting it may actually benefit your company more than you think.

What is a Flat Structure in Business?

Also known as a horizontal organisation, this is an organisational structure within a company that reduces the levels of management between staff and management, thereby creating a shorter chain of command. As a result, people theoretically have more involvement in decision making processes and the ability to work autonomously rather than be closely supervised.

Other Types of Organisational Structures

According to an article in Forbes, there are a few different alternatives to organisational hierarchy.

Hierarchical

The oldest and most common structure in corporate company hierarchy, this downward-flowing chain of command is set up like a pyramid with a CEO at the top, followed by layers of managers and subordinates.

Flatter

An evolved form of the hierarchical structure, flatter organisations remove layers within an organisation and open up communication instead of having it flow one way.

Flatarchies

A combination of hierarchies and flat organisations, this refers to dynamic companies that might have ad hoc hierarchical or flat teams working together depending on the tasks at hand.

Holocratic

A new trend that’s been gaining lots of traction as more companies experiment with a ‘bossless’ environment. At its core, holacracy enables distributed decision making among teams or ‘departments’.

Now, let’s look at the myths of a flat organisational structure.

Myth 1: Every company needs a hierarchy to succeed

The military needs strict and clearly defined levels of hierarchy, sure, but does the same model really benefit modern companies? In an environment where communication typically flows from top to bottom, engagement and collaboration becomes difficult, and employee well-being is a vague consideration at best.

Today’s startups need skill and speed in order to function efficiently and for this to happen, CEOs and Directors hope to bypass layers of middle management by running flat-level organisations.

Giving the people on the ground a voice creates an equal workplace, offers individuals a higher level of responsibility and promotes communication company wide.  Perhaps one of the most famous examples of this kind of management structure is at Google, where less hierarchy apparently empowers employees and promotes happiness.

A flat hierarchy, with excessive layers of management stripped out, would seem to have some advantages over its highly structured counterparts:

Savings: Fewer management-layers means flat-level companies spend less on salaries overall. While this means existing staff have more room for growth and expanding their skill sets, it also means more opportunity for raises and promotions based on performance and productivity.

Agility: A smaller business hierarchy and less bureaucracy gives teams the ability to be more agile and adaptable when making decisions. This empowers people to handle problems, processes and operations within the company, without having to seek approval from a chain of managers, and leads to faster turnaround times and a greater sense of responsibility.

Collaboration: Flat-level organisations encourage collaboration and open communication. Creating a situation in which employees are equal allows self-motivated individuals to excel, innovate and form teams to progress ideas and inspire one another.

Communication: When everyone in the company has an equal voice and can feedback on processes, policy, products, services and the business model as a whole, organisations can keep improving and even discover new ideas or ways to differentiate themselves.

Myth 2: Workers are lower in status than those who delegate the work

Traditional corporate management structures tend to conjure up images of stuffy, bland environments in which employees are stifled and micromanaged by whip-cracking suits with their eye on the clock. Aside from being old-fashioned and regressive, issues arising from mismanagement and bureaucracy can often become significant problems in hierarchical companies.

Times have changed though; these days many of the most successful companies in the world take a grassroots approach to business, giving all employees equal chance to be creative, innovate and contribute to the overall success of a business.

Companies like Google and Facebook don’t necessarily attract great talent based on salary alone, but because a more relaxed management culture lends itself to more freedom, professional growth and collaboration. In a flat-level organisation like Google, for example, junior team members have just as much opportunity to speak to executives and CEOs as senior team members do.

Myth 3: Organisations that don’t follow norms are more likely to fail

These days, there is no “normal” in the world of the startup.  Differentiation is actively encouraged. Take video game development company Valve, for instance, which says it’s been ‘boss free’ since being founded in 1996. Salaries at Valve are determined by peers, employees dictate their working hours and desks are mounted on wheels so everyone can work where they want. With teams responsible for making all decisions, from hiring to firing and new projects, the company operates on a completely flat-level structure, and is seemingly very successful.

Companies are changing the way they operate now. Even the concept of traditional office space has been challenged by the rise in popularity of shared and flexible office solutions. These days a small company can rent a few desks in a premium location anywhere in the world for far less than it would cost them to set up in an office space, leading to more agile ways of working.

While building hierarchical structures may have been a logical solution in the past, more and more companies are looking at the benefits of flattening their organisations to make way for a more collaborative and engaged future.

Business

Nearly 14 Million1 UK adults more likely to spend on Black Friday than they were last year

Published

on

Nearly 14 Million1 UK adults more likely to spend on Black Friday than they were last year 1

Yolt launches evolved app to help shoppers save whilst they spend

  • Across the UK, consumers are set to spend £6.4bn on discount days
  • Despite the pandemic, 1 in 5 stated they would see an increase in their spending on Christmas this year, revealing they will be likely to spend £240 more than they spent last year
  • Yolt today launches a brand-new evolution of the smart money app, which aims to help people save whilst they spend, saving a minimum of £416 a year
  • To help people spend smarter this Black Friday, the smart money app Yolt has a host of new features including round up functionality, and cashback offers with a wide range of retailers including John Lewis, Argos, Asos and Domino’s

New research* from Yolt, the award-winning smart money app, reveals that over a quarter (26%) of UK adults have said they are more likely to wait for discount days, such as Black Friday, to do their Christmas shopping than they were last year. In response to the pandemic and to help people shop smartly in the run up to the festive period, Yolt has launched a brand-new evolution of its app designed to help users to save whilst they spend. New features include the Yolt account and virtual Money Jar, as well as new cashback partnerships with the likes of John Lewis, Argos, Asos and Domino’s. The evolved smart money app can be used to save shoppers a minimum of £416** a year.

Despite the challenging economic climate, Yolt’s data insights from the first lockdown period in the UK showed that there were increases of up to 355% on spending in categories such as groceries, online clothing retailers, takeaways, and streaming and gaming services. On top of this, Yolt’s data revealed a change in consumers’ financial priorities – with many attempting to save in lockdown, but 65% not being successful in doing so. Therefore, to enable people to find the right balance in their efforts to save for any uncertainty that lies ahead, but also enjoy discount days such as Black Friday and festivities in the run up to Christmas, Yolt has launched a host of new features uniquely designed to help people save whilst they spend.

The evolved app comes at a time of challenging economic conditions, where more UK consumers are actively seeking discounts to try and balance the books this Christmas. Yolt’s research found that consumers across the UK spend an average £6.4bn on discount days such as Black Friday.

In total, over a third (35%) of UK adults said they would be looking to take advantage of upcoming discount days, with nearly one in five (18%) stating they do all their shopping for Christmas and birthdays on discount days and during sales. UK consumers said they tend to spend over £120 on days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and surprisingly almost one in five (19%) state they will actually see an increase in their spending on Christmas this year, verses last year. Those expecting an increase revealed they will likely spend an average of £240 more on this Christmas when compared to last year.

Concerns around affording Christmas are perhaps leading more people to take advantage of Black Friday deals than in previous years. Almost four in ten (37%) don’t tend to set savings aside for Christmas, and almost a quarter (23%) said they are going to have to dip into savings that weren’t allocated for Christmas this year. Finding the right balance between spending and saving for future uncertainty is going to be an increasing challenge for people during the festive period.

Pauline van Brakel, Chief Product Officer at Yolt, comments: “Given the incredibly challenging times we are facing this year as a result of the pandemic; it’s perhaps unsurprising to see that people are more likely to wait until popular discount days such as Black Friday to help them to spend smart over the festive period.  Savvy spending in the run up to Christmas is always a good idea, and discount days can help ease what is for many a very expensive time of year – having said that, people should try not to overspend and risk getting themselves into debt.”

Pauline continues: “Finding the balance between spending and saving isn’t easy. And whilst it might seem like a difficult time to save right now it is also perhaps more important than ever. We’ve launched an evolved version of the Yolt app to help people save whilst they spend. The app enables people to spend smart by earning them cashback on their purchases at selected retailers and rounding purchases up to the nearest pound. Encouraging users to save is central to the app, not only by spending smartly but also by finding them competitive deals on their household bills and even spotting Christmas bonuses or refunds and prompting users to add them to their virtual savings jar.”

The new Yolt app is available from today, with full access to all UK users on iOS. Android will follow in 2021.

Continue Reading

Business

Christmas isn’t cancelled: European shoppers plan to spend more online this Black Friday

Published

on

Christmas isn’t cancelled: European shoppers plan to spend more online this Black Friday 2
  • Half (52%) of European consumers plan to do Christmas shopping around holiday sales, including Black Friday, compared to previous years
  • 60% say they are planning to do most of their Christmas shopping online
  • A third (34%) plan on leaving their Christmas shopping until the last minute in hope of securing bigger discounts

As Black Friday approaches, European consumers are not going to let a turbulent year spoil their Christmas. As shoppers continue to adapt to the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they are getting even savvier with their spending. New research from Kaspersky has found half (52%) plan to do more Christmas shopping around sales or shopping holidays, including Black Friday, compared to previous years. What’s more, a third (34%) plan on leaving it until the last minute in the hope of securing bigger discounts.

In a bid to enjoy Christmas while also adhering to COVID-19 social distancing measures, European consumers are focusing their attention away from physical stores to find their gifts. In fact, three-in-five (60%) say they are planning to do most of their Christmas shopping online. A fifth (20%) go as far as saying they will make all of their festive purchases online this year, despite not usually doing so.

With online sales set to rise, Kaspersky’s findings also indicate that most consumers are not expected to scale back on their Christmas spending – despite economic recessions across the continent. Only a quarter (26%) of consumers are planning to reduce their Christmas shopping budget this year by at least a third or more due to financial restrictions caused by COVID-19. However, this figure rises to 30% amongst 25 to 34-year-olds, the age group most widely affected by pandemic-related job cuts.

Yet, as the number of consumers bargain hunting online rises, so does the amount of risks being taken to secure big savings. Only 16% are not willing to exchange their personal data for online discounts – despite the potential of falling victim to fraudulent websites and sales scams.

“The festive period is always a big deal, and never more so than this year, as people seek to redress some of the chaos the pandemic has caused throughout 2020. It stands to reason that people are looking to do the majority of their sale shopping online in a bid to stay safe, as well as grab a bargain. But we must also consider that where the crowds go, the criminals follow. Just as pickpockets flock to crowded areas hoping to get lucky, cybercriminals will be looking at consumer shopping trends and trying to exploit people’s eagerness to grab a bargain and save some money. So, my advice would be that people do their research, follow some basic common sense measures when shopping and avoid getting swept up in the tidal wave of hype as we seek to remedy 2020 with a happy festive season. One thing to always bear in mind is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” comments David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky.

Kaspersky warns bargain hunters to remain wary of potential Black Friday and festive season sales scams. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Shop online with confidence this Christmas by following our advice on avoiding retail scams:

  • Only shop with legitimate online stores. It’s always safer to type in the address yourself, or select it from your bookmarks, rather than clicking on a link. Use your browser address bar to check if the website you are visiting is genuine and secure and that they carry the padlock or HTTPS
  • Complete purchases through secure payment methods. Pay with credit cards or robust payment services so that transactions remain protected
  • Verify discounts. If you receive a sales discount via email or text, check the sender and any web links are legitimate before you click
  • Keep your device software and applications up-to-date and protect all your devices with a reputable internet security product. Cybersecurity solutions with behaviour-based anti-phishing technologies, such as Kaspersky Total Security, can send your notifications if you are trying to visit a phishing web page
  • Manage your passwords. Password managers can help you shop with multiple retailers by safely storing your credentials, so they are unique for all of your online accounts
Continue Reading

Business

Optimum Finance bolsters its offering in three regions with two new sales directors and commercial director promotion

Published

on

Optimum Finance bolsters its offering in three regions with two new sales directors and commercial director promotion 3

Leading invoice finance provider and fintech firm Optimum Finance has appointed two regional sales directors to fulfil the funding needs of SMEs across three UK regions alongside the promotion of Lynn-Marie Jameson to commercial director.

Kelvin Thomas joins the business as regional sales director for Wales and the West and Iain Hendry as regional sales director for the South East.

Kelvin and Iain take up their roles as Optimum Finance embarks on its new growth journey following the appointment last month of fintech expert, Anthony Persse, as new CEO.

The new appointments come off the back of a period of strong growth for the firm which funded over £100m worth of invoices and reported a growth in clientele of 56% in 2019.

Kelvin joins Optimum finance with over 25 years’ industry experience. Having previously held positions as sales director at ABN AMRO Commercial Finance and Eurofactor – Credit Agricole. He is accustomed to delivering strategic regional plans and working within the SME sector to deploy cutting-edge funding solutions.

In his role at Optimum he will be overseeing sales activity in Wales and the West, helping drive Optimum’s bespoke services to those SMEs which need financial support.

With vast experience and knowledge of the South East invoice finance market, Iain is no stranger to working with companies to provide funding options which support business owners. Having worked for Santander, Ultimate Finance and most recently commercial director of Innovation Finance, his industry knowledge is extensive.

When asked about his role, Kelvin said: “Joining the Optimum Finance team has been fantastic. I am enjoying getting to know the portfolio of businesses we work with and how we can help them.

“I am incredibly excited to be focused on expanding Optimum’s offering across Wales and the West delivering strategic plans, deal origination, business development and overseeing mixed asset and product strategies. I’m really looking forward to engaging with SME’s and creating funding solutions for them”

Iain comments on his role: “Given the current circumstances it has never been more important for SMEs to consider invoice finance to support their long-term financial health. In the past I have been part of a team which has provided SMEs with funding solutions to improve cashflow and I am excited to continue to offer this as part of the Optimum Finance team.”

Anthony Persse, CEO at Optimum Finance said: “We are pleased to welcome Kelvin and Iain and to announce the promotion of Lynn-Marie to commercial director. We have an exceptionally strong team in place as well as the drive and tenacity to provide quality, bespoke funding solutions to UK SMEs as they forge ahead in uncertain times.”

For information on the latest job opportunities at Optimum Finance, keep an eye out on https://optimumfinance.co.uk/ or contact the team at [email protected].

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2020
2020 Global Banking & Finance Awards now open. Click Here

Latest Articles

Track and Trace and Other Lost Data 4 Track and Trace and Other Lost Data 5
Technology35 mins ago

Track and Trace and Other Lost Data

By Ian Smith, General Manager and Finance Director at Invu  You, like me, were probably amazed by the now infamous...

Why ID verification is no longer a barrier to global growth in banking 6 Why ID verification is no longer a barrier to global growth in banking 7
Banking2 hours ago

Why ID verification is no longer a barrier to global growth in banking

By Barley Laing, UK Managing Director at Melissa Issues related to effective identity (ID) verification have restricted the global growth...

Digital Finance: Unlocking New Capital in Disrupted Markets 8 Digital Finance: Unlocking New Capital in Disrupted Markets 9
Finance3 hours ago

Digital Finance: Unlocking New Capital in Disrupted Markets

By Krishnan Raghunathan, Head of Finance & Accounting Services at WNS, explores how a digitally transformed finance department can give enterprises...

Beyond the bottom line: why brands must show they care to connect with customers 10 Beyond the bottom line: why brands must show they care to connect with customers 11
Top Stories4 hours ago

Beyond the bottom line: why brands must show they care to connect with customers

By Vadim Grigoryan, Partner, Lunu Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed an ever-growing activism among consumers, with public opinion...

O-CITY enters Kenya to drive contactless payments across Matatu bus service 12 O-CITY enters Kenya to drive contactless payments across Matatu bus service 13
Finance4 hours ago

O-CITY enters Kenya to drive contactless payments across Matatu bus service

Up to 10,000 buses to become cashless with O-CITY’s M-Pesa-based ticketing solution O-CITY, the automated fare collection provider by BPC,...

Nearly 14 Million1 UK adults more likely to spend on Black Friday than they were last year 14 Nearly 14 Million1 UK adults more likely to spend on Black Friday than they were last year 15
Business4 hours ago

Nearly 14 Million1 UK adults more likely to spend on Black Friday than they were last year

Yolt launches evolved app to help shoppers save whilst they spend Across the UK, consumers are set to spend £6.4bn...

Christmas isn’t cancelled: European shoppers plan to spend more online this Black Friday 16 Christmas isn’t cancelled: European shoppers plan to spend more online this Black Friday 17
Business5 hours ago

Christmas isn’t cancelled: European shoppers plan to spend more online this Black Friday

Half (52%) of European consumers plan to do Christmas shopping around holiday sales, including Black Friday, compared to previous years...

The largest event in e-commerce history? ‘Tis the season 18 The largest event in e-commerce history? ‘Tis the season 19
Top Stories5 hours ago

The largest event in e-commerce history? ‘Tis the season

By James Booth, VP Head of Partnerships for EMEA, at PPRO Sometimes, change happens slowly. Other times it chases you...

Optimum Finance bolsters its offering in three regions with two new sales directors and commercial director promotion 20 Optimum Finance bolsters its offering in three regions with two new sales directors and commercial director promotion 21
Business6 hours ago

Optimum Finance bolsters its offering in three regions with two new sales directors and commercial director promotion

Leading invoice finance provider and fintech firm Optimum Finance has appointed two regional sales directors to fulfil the funding needs of SMEs...

Bank of Idaho Selects Teslar Software to Enhance Customer Service 22 Bank of Idaho Selects Teslar Software to Enhance Customer Service 23
Banking6 hours ago

Bank of Idaho Selects Teslar Software to Enhance Customer Service

Partnership enables bank to spend more time with borrowers, better meet their needs Teslar Software, a provider of automated workflow...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now