Workplace Flexibility: 5 Helpful Practices That You Can Use in Your Organization
Several studies, including the research of the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, have linked the notion of flexibility with improved productivity and increased revenues.
Prior to this year, companies were slowly making progress. However, the enforced remote working brought on by the pandemic has illustrated that achieving these goals is important, especially in the long term.
If your business doesn’t allow you to offer all employees the benefit of working remotely, you will find below a few steps that will help you create a flexible work environment.
1. Encourage employee autonomy at work
Forward-thinking organizations have empowered employees to think creatively and negotiate directly with their teams and leaders for a flexible work arrangement that suit them. This practice starts from the fact that people have a different rhythm of life.
At the same time, it would be a good idea to cut out the bureaucracy. As the pandemic took hold, most organizations were forced to abandon pre-existing approval processes for working from home. Many companies have seen the benefits and they will continue this streamlined approach going forward.
2. Define clear job performance criteria
Having a performance-driven culture will result in successful outcomes. Flex-work employees must know the level of performance expected and what metrics will be used to measure their work.
The more information an employee has about the expectations and key performance indicators related to his / her work (KPIs), the more likely he or she is to thrive in a flexible workplace.
3. Build accountability in the workplace
Knowing they will be held accountable for the results of their work will motivate employees to apply themselves fully to their tasks, regardless of where their workstations are located.
Employees must accept responsibility for their specific jobs and know that others on the team will expect them to accomplish their part productively.
4. Encourage and enable team flexibility
Because the Customer Support department can successfully implement a remote work system, and the Logistics cannot, you should ask each sector of activity to define what a flexible program means to them. Thus, teams will embrace flexibility by creating their own set of rules and ways of working to achieve their goals.
For example: meeting-free Mondays, no meetings over lunch or before 9 AM, and so on.
Finally, it is all about allowing employees, team leaders and managers to find the right formula for each.
In other words, if we are talking about mixed teams (working from office and remotely), in order to be sure that you respect the personal space of your employees, you should also consider the following aspects as well:
- Ask for attendees’ availability before scheduling meetings (avoid assuming people are free early mornings or late afternoons).
- For virtual meetings, indicate whether the video is on or off.
- Lock in meeting-free periods, such as the lunchtime.
- During office meetings, appoint a moderator to ensure equal voice to all participants, especially those who are not in the room.
- Schedule mainly virtual meetings if one or more team members are working from home.
5. Provide technical support
For many people, remote work is the main flexible option that suits their needs. During the crisis generated by Covid-19, the organizations supported the employees in the transition process to another working system with funds to set up and run a home office.
In the future, make sure that people who choose to work remotely have a proper environment where they can work and have access to best-in-class technology and collaboration tools.
By embracing current trends and investing in the right tools and people, you can be ahead of the curve and achieve a thriving flexible work culture that will attract the right job candidates, promote growth and ensure the long-term success of your business.
Access the Pluria guidebook, “How to Prepare for the Return to the Office”, in order to find out the solutions that encourage flexibility in adopting the new work model.