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How Important are Flexible Work Environments?

iconFlexible Schedules icon2 min read
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Not too long ago, the most significant factor between a candidate selecting your company over your competitor was salary. Those days are over. Top candidates are much more likely to weigh a variety of factors before accepting a job offer. One of the top considerations is the option for a flexible work environment. 

Flexible work environments are advantageous to companies, too. They receive more applicants from qualified employees, see increased retention rates, and save on overhead costs. Managers and supervisors note an increase in engagement and productivity as well. 

It goes without saying that there are potential disadvantages to a flexible work environment.  The most significant disadvantage can be the lack of connection to the team and/or the company. Remote workers may start to feel disconnected from your company and their coworkers. To avoid this, have regular video conference check-in calls with your team as a whole and with individuals.

Work-life balance can also come into play as a disadvantage to a flexible work environment.  Remote workers may feel the need to be “always-on” to prove that they are getting the job done.  Encourage your team to take breaks and set working hours; online tools, such as Google, are useful to set working hours, schedule meetings, and create tasks.  Make sure your remote workers (heck, even non-remote workers!) are on the job during business hours and only work extra if needed.

According to FlexJobs, 80% of employers surveyed said they provide some form of flexible scheduling for their employees. So is flexible work right for your company? Consider the following:

If your employees are asking for flexible work environments, think about how it could affect your business (and if it is even possible). For example, if your company is in manufacturing and you make car parts, then flexible scheduling is a bad idea for assembly line employees since the equipment is located in your factory and cannot be in a home. If your employee population consists of software developers, marketers, data entry specialists, or the like, then flexible work options can likely be incorporated (and be successful!). 

Make sure to implement a company-wide flexible work policy that clearly defines what positions are eligible for remote work, hours of operation (say, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday -Friday), expectations for communications, etc.  In order for employees to know what is expected of them, have this policy read, understood, and signed by all.  This way, your whole team knows what success looks like and understands the “rules” for the company.  An important note is that this privilege can be revoked if an employer feels an employee is abusing the policy. 

It’s also important that your policy does not favor certain groups of people over others.  For example, you can’t implement a flexible work policy for parents only. If you’re going to offer a flexible work option, you’re required to implement the policy across the company (where appropriate by job title or department), so you don’t discriminate against protected groups or individuals. 

Dominion can help you manage flexible work environments.

Dominion is at the forefront of modern HR software for companies of all sizes, from remote punching to performance reviews to an online employee self-service. We help professionals pay and manage their employees efficiently and accurately, so you can focus on building your business. Simplify your everyday process by requesting a demo!

 

 



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