We’re lucky enough to live in a time in which it might not be necessary to trudge into the office every single day, punching in at 9:00 and (hopefully) leaving at 5:00. The business world, and therefore the working day, has changed greatly with the implementation of valuable technology that helps connect people and allow team members to work from home or other external locations without missing a beat.
However, the benefits of these flexible work arrangements go beyond connectivity. Read on to learn more about this concept and how it can help you and your business.
What are flexible work arrangements?
Flexible work arrangements are agreements or general practices that allow team members to do their jobs from places outside of the office and at times that suit them. Such arrangements can take many forms. Sometimes it involves letting team members work from home. Other times it includes the implementation of flex time, in which employees can work back extra hours some days in order to build up time in lieu. Flexible working arrangements can look different in different professional settings depending on the size of company and the industry in which you operate.
How do flexible work arrangements work?
There are a few key aspects that take flexible working from an idea to a reality.
Management has to be open to at least trying flexible work arrangements in order for both employer and employee to enjoy the great benefits. Letting people work from home from time to time or even letting them put some hours in while on holiday takes a leap of faith. But it is only when you try flexible working arrangements that you can determine whether or not they work for your organisation.
- The right hardware
Having the right physical tools for your workers to use is also a key facet of flexible working arrangements. Having a bring your own device (BYOD) culture makes this more possible. Letting people work on their own devices increases the likelihood they have what they need whether they’re in the office or working elsewhere. Your desire to have flexible working arrangements can also play a factor when deciding if you want laptop or desktop computers in your office. Laptops allow your workers to spend time with their machines, and therefore work, from a variety of locations.
- The right systems
Having the right software and operating systems can also facilitate flexible work arrangements. Learning Microsoft Office 365 can give you and your team a chance to utilise all the great aspects of the platform, including conferencing and email. The cloud is another valuable tool when it comes to flexible working arrangements. Turning to managed IT services opens your organisation up to the incredible connectivity and capability the cloud provides, putting the materials your workers need within reach no matter where they are.
What are the benefits of flexible work arrangements?
Flexible working arrangements bring tremendous benefits for both workers and employees.
- Productivity – By opening up the possibility of people working outside the office, you open up the possibility of them getting more work done. Sometimes people have appointments or other obligations they need to attend to. Without flexible working arrangements, commuting to and from, home, the office and aforementioned appointments adds up to a lot of wasted time travelling. Letting them work outside the office eliminates that.
- Happiness – When you give your team the option to work remotely or institute flexi-time options, you show them you care about their well-being. Remember that, when it comes to your team and its productivity, more is not always more. Flexible work arrangements such as allowing them to work from home will help you retain your best employees and keep them from burning out.
- Hiring options – When you implement flexible working arrangements, you open the door to a larger pool of candidates that can help your company grow. Perhaps there’s a great account manager who has to watch his or her kids one afternoon a week. Or maybe there’s a dynamite copy writer who has previously existing clients to take care of. Don’t eliminate them as possibilities for your company if you think you and your team can benefit from their work. Try to work around their schedules and see if them working from home or elsewhere is a feasible option. Four days a week of their work or a few hours here and there outside of the office might be better than a full on-site week from another candidate.
Amazing advances in technology have made flexible working arrangements much more palatable for both workers and organisations. Don’t feel like your team has to be confined to traditional professional methods of attendance and productivity. Find what mix works best for everybody and use it to your advantage today.
Turn to the Saxons blog for more great topics regarding external productivity, including tips for managing a virtual team.