In previous posts we have detailed the ways in which you can implement a flexible working policy in to your business successfully. With so many communicative tools available to businesses and solutions such as Desktop-as-a-Service allowing employees to work from anywhere, at any time, providing employees with the ability to work flexible is more and more becoming the norm. But that doesn’t mean every business is keen to see it implemented…
For years employees have expected to come to the office; Monday-Friday, 9-5 and work. But with the evolvement of technology and therefore the nature of work becoming more flexible, employees now expect their companies to allow them to work remotely – whether that is once in a while when they have an important appointment or on a regular basis. In fact, recent studies have shown that Generation Z value flexibility as the most important part of a job and 38% would leave a job due to a lack of it.
From an employee’s point of view having the ability to work remotely lets them know that you trust them to perform even when not under the watchful eye of management, and it also allows them the benefits of time and money saved through not having to travel. Similarly, not all employees want to work structured hours like 9-5. If they are early risers then why can’t they start working then and finish earlier? With flexible working things like this are possible and with providing employees the opportunity to work how they want to, within reason, their morale will improve and this will benefit both the employee and your business.
But how can you make it work for your business?
1. Remind employees of their responsibilities
Not just to themselves or the business, but do their colleagues too. If they are given the ability to work remotely but start slacking then they are letting their team down as well as themselves. Remind them of this and the fact that despite not being based in the office their output should be at the same level as if they were – they are still responsible for their work wherever they may be based.
Equally if your business sets targets or KPIs remind employees that these still need to be met and will be monitored too. Performance can’t stop slipping because the employee has the ability to work from a coffee shop or their lounge.
2. Extend your trust and be rewarded
Many businesses think employees will use flexible and remote working as an excuse for a day off, or perhaps not achieve quite as much as they would in the office. This isn’t the case in most instances, and if your flexible working policy is correctly set-up and implemented then it needn’t be the case at all.
Extend your trust to your employees – you are paying them to do their job and they know that they are expected to do this wherever they may be based. In a recent survey we carried out we discovered that 34% of employers saw the number of employees that they allowed to work flexibly would increase in the next year – positive news and support for the implementation of such a policy.
3. Unless contracted, flexible working is not a given right
Employees need to remember that, unless specifically contracted to flexible working, it is not necessarily a given right for them to work remotely. Particularly where they are one of few colleagues that doesn’t work from the office, they need to understand that sometimes they will need to be flexible – with annual leave cover for example – and may need to come in to the office when necessary or work slightly longer/different hours remotely.
Just like if they were in the office, if the requirement for them to work is there then they need to abide by management – the distance of a few steps from their manager or 50 miles makes no difference.
So stop holding back on the implementation of that remote working policy. Take a look at your employees and see how it could work for them, and how you could implement a policy that would allow you to be sure that they are making full use of their working hours and not just catching up on daytime TV.