Flexible work policies are all the rage right now. Hip startups boast about unlimited vacation days, work-from-home allowances, and even fluid daily start and finish times. But can you tap into the appeal of this flexible setup within your own organization? Successful implementation here is key.
Four Tips for Successful Flexible Work Policies
While advances in technology have blurred the divide between home and work in more ways than one, the result has been mostly positive.
“Taking work home after office hours may be the norm, but formal workplace flexibility programs–wherein employees have the option to periodically work from home without coming into the office–seem to be benefiting both employees and employers,” WorkplaceTrends notes. “87% of HR leaders believe that workplace flexibility programs lead to employee satisfaction, while nearly 7 out of 10 HR leaders use workplace flexibility programs as a recruiting and retention tool.”
Want to get the most out of a flexible work policy? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Ease the Burden with Tools
“There is now an abundance of fantastic tools to enable your remote teams to communicate seamlessly and collaborate on projects,” explains this blog post from Dialpad. “Cloud based apps for project management, conference calling, file sharing and sales means that your team can be proactive, connected and fully accountable wherever they are.”
If you want to stand a chance of implementing a successful flexible work policy where employees are allowed to spend some of their time working remotely, you must have access to some of these tools.
2. Hold Employees Accountable
When you have some employees in the office, others working from home, and others working while traveling, it’s easy to lose track of everything that’s going on. Your employees may also feel isolated and out of touch with the rest of their coworkers. Understanding this, make sure you hold your employees accountable and stay in touch.
In terms of management and leadership, you shouldn’t treat employees differently based on where or when they’re working. The same measures of accountability need to be there. Otherwise, employees begin taking advantage of your lenient policies.
3. Give it a Test-Run
Before you decide to fully implement a work-from-home policy or flex scheduling, it’s important to give it a test-run. By testing things out for a month or so, you can see what works without fully committing to the transition.
At the end of the trail, meet with your employees, gather the data, and analyze the findings. If certain things worked and other elements flopped, scrap the bad and refine the good. You’ll likely end up implementing some flexibility while leaving out other elements that don’t work.
4. Use it to Your Advantage
After implementing a flexible work policy, feel free to use it to your advantage – especially when it comes to recruiting and hiring new talent. Employees – especially millennials – are very fond of workplace flexibility and many will take a pay cut in order to enjoy things like remote working or flex scheduling. It makes no sense to keep this a secret or reveal it after hiring.
Give a Flexible Work Policy a Shot
It’s not 1997. We’re operating in a business world that’s consumed by technology, devices, and modern solutions that make remote working and flexibility a reality. If you want to make your employees happy, maximize productivity, and attract top talent, it’s imperative that you give flexible work policies a chance.
Will a flexible work policy work for your company? Only time will tell. But it’s something you should at least consider as you evaluate your current policies and procedures.