The majority of employees generally want more flexible options in the workplace. Employers are well aware of the fact and are usually open to discussion when it comes to strategies that would allow for said flexibility while still maintaining productivity. All too often though, the company will take the wrong approach in implementing policies, leaving the company to suffer.
To make sure your business avoids the drop in productivity, follow these tips to make your workplace more flexible:
1) Plan your strategy
It's important to create a flexible-work strategy before allowing anyone in particular a flexible schedule and sending someone home to work. Think about which individuals or departments will have access to more flexibility and what kind of flexible arrangement they’ll be offered. Also, consider the best metrics of tracking each individual’s and every department’s productivity. Be open with everyone involved about the plan.
2) Trial it first
Don’t introduce a full-scale program before conducting a short trial with just a few of the selected employees or through just one department. Determine a length of time that would allow you to assess the effectiveness of the program and make any small tweaks necessary to improve the plan – this should be no less than 4 weeks – and assess the end results to make adjustments before going company-wide.
3) Communicate effectively
The strategy is destined to fail without a specific communication plan in place. Figure out the best way for your teams to get together and collaborate with each other, considering that some might be working various hours or from home offices. So many options online, it shouldn’t be difficult to select a medium through which the whole team stays connected and engaged with work.
4) Train managers to be flexible
Make sure the managers on your team are trained to communicate effectively, ask questions challenge and stimulate their teams and be available and open through a variety of methods – email, phone, online, etc. Make sure that they maintain regular contact through phone or face-to-face meetings if possible, making sure no one is left out.
5) Understand it’s not for everyone
Not everybody has the traits required for flexible work schedules and telecommuting. Don’t let this put you off. Just because a few team members aren’t great at it doesn’t mean others can’t thrive while doing it. Try to offer different options using rewards for the ones that aren’t good at it.
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