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Flexible work options, just as the name suggests are alternative work approaches using non-traditional working hours, job structures and locations. As the competition of talent heightens, companies that offer flexible working options to their employees have a competitive edge. It is a proven fact that flexible work options improve individual and team effectiveness as employees are more satisfied and engaged. The new workforce mainly comprises of millennials who are more inclined to taking flexible jobs so as to spend more time with family and friends and feel in control. Basically, flexible work options are a win-win to both employees and companies. Most successful companies are developing strategies that keep all supported, aligned and engaged. Other strategies companies can follow to make most of the flexible work arrangement include the following:
Communication is key in any organization and more so when it comes to working remotely. Work from home employees normally tends to match their environment to their style meaning that they will be more efficiency and consequently more productivity. However, this requires a strong communication channel and organization. Without these, deadlines can be passed, frustrated coworkers, angry managers, and overall reduced productivity. Have a clear objective and inform all members how they will work and what is expected of them. Use various communication channels such as Skype, Chat, Video Calls, progress emails and so on to keep them in check.
A clear and consistent guideline will work as a road map that employees will follow and manage. This will also keep the employees focused and happy. The first thing is to develop a clear policy that includes all employees. The policy can allow for a certain number of hours or days for remote work. Requests also have to be made on certain days and deadlines. With a clear and consistent policy, a culture of trust and confidence will be fostered.
Sometimes, a flexible work arrangement can create feelings of isolation from colleagues. This is a very common case where the line between home life and work blurs making the work more intense and stressful. This can be achieved by increasing manager oversight so as to offer employees social interaction and more confidence that they are working well. Regular check-ins are very important and managers can use these times to give constructive and measurable feedback. They can also set clear goals. It is for this reason that there are platforms such as Campfire and Slack which connects remote and on-site staff making everyone feel part of the team. These platforms also offer general and fun chat channels where coworkers can share memes, jokes, weekend plans and discuss anything they feel like. This creates a sense of community that is found in a physical workspace.