If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it is that there is a much greater need for companies to consider flexible working. And, for those companies who thought that such flexibility was not a viable option, they have been largely surprised about how well this has worked.
Whether you are already offering flexible working to your staff or are looking to implement a more flexible approach, here are some tips to help get you started.
Talk to your employees
It is always a good idea to communicate with your staff when you are considering offering them an alternative to the more traditional working environment. Talk to your staff about your plans to offer flexible working and see how they feel about it. Remember not everyone will feel comfortable with the idea of flexible working. Whether this is personal preference or simply down to their home circumstances, be prepared for some resistance.
Set out your requirements
Flexible working is certainly not for everyone. In some instances, it may require a greater degree of personal discipline. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your staff understand what you expect of them in terms of performance and activity. You should also discuss how they can be contacted and set up any expectations you might have regarding communication. Fr example, a quick call each day to discuss what is being worked on, or an email for those employees working from home.
Flexible working in the office
Of course, this type of working can also take place in the office as well. You will need to set up some ground rules there as well. As flexible working means people arriving and leaving at different times, this will need to be done with the minimum of disruption. Make sure that people know not to be too noisy when coming and going to avoid disturbing those who are working.
Good communication is what makes a good business. If you have people working from home or working flexible hours in the office, that might mean they can’t simply pop and have a quick word with each other. Therefore, making sure you have effective means of communication in place is vital. Notes can easily be missed, covered with something, or simply be blown off desks, use emails or some other form of communication that means there is a “paper trail” where everything can be kept track of this. This can really help when you are dealing with a more flexible workplace.
Remember to include everyone when offering flexible working
There is nothing worse that working from home or having different working hours to the rest of the people in the team you work with only to discover you have been missed out of vital announcements. Make sure when you have good news or important developments to share with your staff that you include everyone in your communications whether they are office based, working from home, or doing flexible hours.