Flexible work arrangements are well-received by employees, but often business leaders shy away. Why? Misconceptions on flexible work arrangements, which are often based on a fear of change or lack of control, can hinder an organization’s ability to move forward with implementing one. However, when designed right, offering flexibility in the way work gets done can bolster morale, productivity, and boost retention of your star employees. Amazing, right?
When it comes to offering flexible work arrangements, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. You can design your offerings to best fit the needs of your business AND your employees. Here are a few different approaches to consider:
Flextime allows employees to choose their working hours from week to week – with a commitment to a set of core hours (generally at a time when most others are working as to not disrupt the flow of work). This is a great way to offer flexibility, yet still requires the employee to get the work done in a timely fashion. Employees may choose to have a later start time or earlier end time on certain days of the week.
Compressed Work Weeks
Another option is to offer a compressed work week model. Here, employees are still required to put in the 40 hours; however, instead of the standard Monday through Friday schedule, they could work a Monday through Thursday work week with 10 hours per day.
Telecommuting allows for flexibility in where a person works. A common myth about telecommuting is that employees will be less productive at home due to distractions. Yet, the reality is employees can be just as productive (maybe even more) at home. Remember, the office offers plenty of distractions as well (e.g., chatty co-workers, longer lunch breaks, socializing). Make sure to have your telecommuting policy clearly communicated to ensure expectations are met for both the employee and manager.
In job-sharing, two employees share a position and the responsibilities that come along. Both employees would be considered part-time, together totaling a full-time weekly schedule. This type of arrangement may not work for all roles and does demand a high level of compatibility, collaboration, and communication between the two employees.
Whatever approach works best for you, offering flexible work arrangements is a great way to help make work life (and life outside work) better. The key to success is to clearly articulate your policy, have employees and managers sign mutual agreements so that expectations are clear upfront, and frequently monitor your process to make sure it continues to work for everyone.
Need assistance designing a flexible work policy? Contact us or give us a call at 703-587-5615. We thrive on helping our clients design experiences that engage and excite their workforce. We would love to do the same for you.