The concept of flexible working has been thrown around for many years. Today, it is a concept that is being made by successful millennials in advertising agencies and other companies that support remote work.
The concept of working away from the office may seem counterproductive, but companies have reported having benefited from flexible working.
Let's take a closer look at the benefits of flexible working and how it can improve your business.
What is Flexible Working?
Flexible working allows employees flexibility on where to work, when to work, and how long to work. An example would be to hire a full-time graphic designer for your online store.
Instead of expecting the employee to handle their tasks at the workplace daily from 9 to 5, you could allow them to complete their tasks at home during working hours.
The term “flexible working” does have a few more different kinds of definitions attached to it. “Flextime” and “flexplace” allow employees to choose the times they wish to work and the place that they wish to work, respectively.
Time banks allow employees to take time off after putting in overtime.
There is such a thing as part-time flexible working. This includes people working for about 2 to 3 days in a week instead of the usual 5 days.
Job sharing is also becoming more common these days with two people sharing the working hours of a single job. Each person is capable of handling the entire job themselves, but they only put in a certain amount of hours in a week sharing the time each person is at work.
Can You Trust Your Employees To Work From Home?
There’s a famous insightful article on LinkedIn titled “If you can't trust your employees to work flexibly, why hire them in the first place?”
That statement is very accurate as the main purpose for hiring someone is for them to do a job for you and not so that you can keep an eye on them the entire day.
There are plenty of employees who will most probably slack if not supervised. However, there is definitely more employees out there who will make sure they do their jobs even without supervision.
Most people need to work to earn money. This motivation allows employees to make sure their tasks are completed on time.
Managers and supervisors have confessed to seeing great results from employees who work at home. Most employees tend to overcompensate regarding their communication and working hours.
They probably do this because they wish to show colleagues that they are hard at work. Trust is a significant factor in flexible working. In most cases, employees know that they need to gain their manager's trust.
Should Your Business Consider Flexible Working?
Allowing your employees to work at home can be a way for your business to open up a new wave of opportunities.
This means breaking away from the ancient 9 to 5 tradition made famous by the industrial revolution.
There will most probably be minimal staff at your office during work hours. This won't necessarily be a bad thing, as there are plenty of benefits to business owners regarding flexible working. Here are some of those benefits:
One of the most significant contributors to a business’ operational costs is the renting of office space. Having an entire team means creating offices or cubicles with desks and chairs for each person.
The office furniture and rental costs alone are very high and can be discouraging for new businesses.
Flexible working gives companies the opportunity to downscale their offices. A company could possibly have a single office with a boardroom for meetings.
They could possibly set up a couple of hot desks in a small place for any employee that wants to accomplish work right after a meeting.
Your average employee is interrupted every 11 minutes. It then takes the employee 23 minutes to return to work fully focused. Flexible working allows employees to work in a distraction-free environment at home or even at the local coffee shop.
Apart from being distracted by colleagues, working at home also means that there won't be much chance for conflict. Workers will just not have enough time to create a negative relationship with each other.
Flexible working also assists in boosting an employee’s morale.
If an employee enjoys a healthy balance between work and personal life, then they will be inclined to feel much happier as opposed to being restricted to the office.
Happiness and well-being are known to assist in increasing a person's productivity.
Working more at home also means missing out on nasty morning commutes. Not having to sit in traffic will make any person happy! It can even be good for the environment as you will use up fewer emissions from your car due to less frequent traveling.
Implementing Flexible Working in Your Company
You can't squeeze out creativity from employees between 9 to 5. Everyone has a different creative process.
There are plenty of people out there who usually dish out their most important and best work in the morning. However, there is a considerable amount of creative people who prefer to work later as opposed to the morning.
It's strange how many modern creatives and millennials prefer to work late at night, after supper even. Allowing your team to take work home or to work in the office late at night can give them the freedom to produce outstanding work.
Restricting them to force out creative ideas and work during the hours stipulated by you could impact on their work negatively.
However, you will have to review their work, deadlines, and other important issues related to your employees' jobs. This is why it may be a great idea if you scheduled compulsory times for employees to be at work.
An example would be for all employees to be available at work between 9 am and 2 pm every Monday and Wednesday.
This way you could schedule boardroom meetings between you and your staff at these times. If you do set up a couple of hot desks, then some of the staff there can continue to work on the premises even after 2 pm.
Flexible working is becoming more of a reality to many modern businesses. It solves the issue of congestion in the office space and in densely populated cities.
All businesses should consider experimenting with the concept of flexible working when hiring new staff.