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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Could Your Business Benefit From Flexible Working Practices?

The way that businesses manage their employees is changing and new working practices are being adopted all of the time. In the past, it was thought that the standard 9 to 5 workday was the most productive way for everybody to work but in the last couple of years, attitudes have started to change. Some people do work very effectively doing a 9 to 5 day, but others don’t. Everybody has their own way of working, which is why flexibility is the new trend in business at the moment. Instead of making all employees work the same hours, more companies are experimenting and letting people have more control over the way that they work. New technology is also making it easier than ever for people to work remotely from home or anywhere outside the office, which is often more productive for them.

If you’re looking for ways to increase productivity in your office and improve employee satisfaction, you should consider moving towards a more flexible work environment. These are some of the best ways to implement flexible working practices in your business.

Quality Over Quantity
Quality over quantity is at the heart of the new trend in flexible working practices. Just because somebody works a 60 hour week, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re productive and they get more work done than somebody that works 30 hours. In fact, when people are overworked, they’re far less productive. People also have other commitments outside of work and if they’re trying to juggle it all, they’re likely to be stressed and that will have a big impact on productivity as well. That’s why it’s best to focus on quality of work rather than quantity of hours.

Some companies are already introducing a 4 day work week and the results look promising. Having an extra day off means that people aren’t as stressed, and they tend to actually be more productive than they were when they were working 5 days a week. This doesn’t work for every business but it just goes to show the value of quality over quantity. You shouldn’t think in terms of paying your employees for the hours they work, think of it as paying them for the work they produce. You can still give guidelines about how many hours people should be working but if they want to come in a bit later or leave a little early, it doesn’t matter as long as they get everything done.

Set Clear Expectations
Giving your employees more flexibility with their hours is fine, but it’s important that you set clear expectations. If you simply tell people that they can work whatever hours they like and they’re not required to be in the office for 40 hours a week, it’s likely that some people will slack off. That’s why you need to set very clear expectations about the output that you expect from people. As long as they recognize that they still need to complete the same amount of work, regardless of their hours, and meet deadlines on projects, you shouldn’t have an issue with productivity.

Bring Your Own Device Policy
It’s becoming a lot more common for businesses to introduce a bring your own device (BYOD) policy and allow employees to use their own phones and laptops in the office. It’s a simple way to introduce flexibility into the office and it has a big positive effect on productivity because people tend to work better on a device that is set up just the way that they like it. The only issue is that you’re giving up some control over the devices and that can be a problem, especially if people are using them to access company documents because it’s a security risk. But you can get around that by using mobile device management software and ensuring that it is installed on any device that an employee brings in from outside of the office. Mobile device management is essential for providing the mobility every small business needs without any of the security risks that are normally associated with a BYOD policy. It’s also important that you set clear guidelines about how people can use their devices so they’re not distracted by things like social media, otherwise, productivity will take a big hit.

Create A Culture Of Trust
This is the most important thing to remember if you’re trying to be more flexible. You’re trusting your employees to work effectively when left to decide how many hours to work and when to come into the office. If that culture of trust isn’t there, employees are more likely to take advantage of the situation, but if they feel that they have your trust, they will work productively.

Introducing flexible working practices in your business could make such a huge difference, so it’s worth a try.
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