7 Tips to Successfully Implement a Flexible Work Policy
Flexible work policies have been in place for quite a while. Though the 9-5 setup largely dominates the job industry, more employers are opening up to the beauty of flexibility at the workplace.
There are several types of flexible work policies:
- Compressed schedule: Also known as a shortened workweek, a compressed schedule allows an employee to work longer hours during their workdays to get more days off.
- Unlimited vacation: For an employee to receive this policy, they need to meet certain requirements so it can work.
- Flextime: Also referred to as adjusted hours, this schedule promotes flexibility at work by allowing employees to choose when they want to begin working and when they want to leave.
- Split shift: This policy enables an employee to work half their shift, relax a bit, and then complete the remaining hours later that day.
- Alternative schedule: Although very similar to the flextime policy, the alternate schedule is made up of shift work that works outside the typical 9 to 5. Plus, it’s not as flexible as the flex option.
- Job sharing: As the name suggests, one full-time job is divided between two employees. Each works a section of the whole work week.
- 100% remote: It’s in the name. Also known as working from home and telecommuting, this policy enables workers to work away from the office all or most of the time.
- Results Only Work Environment: This flexible policy enables employees to work when they wish and however long they need to finish their tasks and achieve their objectives.
Why Flexible Work Policy?
Flexible work policies allow employees to work when they feel at their best, and that can fall outside the regular 9am to 5pm shift. There are some policies that provide the employees with enough leeway to enable them to work when they feel most comfortable, like allowing an alternate work schedule or even letting the employees work remotely for extended periods.
If you’re an employer, before choosing to put a flexible work policy in place, you need to know what problem you hope to solve.
A flexible work policy can assist you in cutting down on real estate expenses by downsizing office space.
It’s also good for employees as it gives them control over their work life. This helps increase retention rates, boost employee engagement, and lower stress levels. Remote work is a huge draw for workers today, especially millennials, who may be willing to take the job if it has the freedom and flexibility incentives.
In these trying coronavirus times, flexible work schedules enable employees to get work done without putting theirs and your health at risk. What’s even better is they are in a peaceful state of mind to work more within a short time.
Tips to Implement a Flexible Work Policy
Thinking of implementing flexible scheduling? Great choice. However, it helps to note that putting one in place is not as easy as it sounds.
There are plenty of factors you need to consider, such as the number of employees you have, their level of experience (not all of them will be great flexible workers), how long your establishment has been in business, how large or small your business is and, of course, the number of working hours you require.
If you’ve got a small business, the odds may appear to be stacked up against you if you choose to take the flexible-work-policy route. On the contrary, large enterprises are mostly filled with bureaucracy and legacy rules to give a flexible working arrangement policy a chance.
Alternatively, small organizations are more flexible and can not only make worker-friendly policies but roll them out quickly too.
Here are tips to help you implement a flexible work policy for your team:
- Think About Important Issues First
A flexible work hours policy is a long-term plan that may not be easy to come out of once you’re in. Establishing them requires your concentration and utmost patience.
Therefore, you should check if there’s anything that needs deeper thought before you get to it. Whether its potential pitfalls, what your management team can support, the impact that the policy will have on your clients and service or whatever else needs immediate attention, never postpone the more important matters.
- Leverage Technology
There’s every reason to leverage technology such as ClockInEasy. By doing so, you not only put your establishment a step ahead of the rest, but you encourage its growth as well.
Excellent customer support on social media platforms, for example, enables you to retain current clients and raise chances of them telling their friends and loved ones about you.
Share awesome content, videos, and photos, and listen to what people think about your brand. You could reply to the comments yourself or use artificial intelligence.
Another way to maximize technology use is going mobile. Connectivity through mobile devices benefits you and your clients. As you build your customer list, you can send sale alerts, text adverts, and coupons to encourage fast action.
Lead nurturing is a necessary process as you get new clients. Investing in technology innovations is a great way to get this done. Your establishment will need ways to offer useful content, automate email workflows, and track your leads’ responses to emails.
- Build an Environment of Mutual Trust
Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, be it professional or otherwise. You need to show your employees you trust them and get off your ‘boss-throne’ once in a while and empathize with them.
Show them that you believe in them by, for example, delegating duties and letting them handle and submit them at the stipulated time. By being kind and approachable, the trust will come automatically.
- Align Incentives with Outcomes
Everyone likes appreciation when they do something right- including employees. You may be paying them, but aligning incentives with positive results helps workers give their all to their responsibilities.
Incentives are also a nice way to promote healthy competition among your employees. Inducements don’t have to be anything fancy. For instance, a day off for a job well done can work for a start.
- Offer Flexible Options to Everyone
No matter your employees' position, showing equality goes a long way in promoting peace and a positive work atmosphere.
The key is offering flexibility at the workplace sparingly if you’re providing them for the first time and see how your workers respond to them. The better the results, the more lenient you should get.
However, you should ensure your workers understand the aim of the options. Some employees may take advantage of them.
- Normalize Existing Flexibility Policies
Which flexibility at work policies are you offering? How effective are they? Chances are they’re not reaping the desired results if you haven’t put them out in the open yet.
Make them known to all your employees and allow them to pick when they’re most comfortable working, depending on the schedule you provide. They should also know what the written policies include plus their general provisions.
It may take a while before you see any outcome, but if you’re consistent, everything will fall into place sooner than you expect.
- Consider Employee Feedback
There are several benefits of listening to what your workers have to say before implementing a flexible working policy. For starters, they can bring up points that you missed as you were planning.
Next, constructive criticism from them can help to formulate better decisions to increase and enhance performance.
Also, it creates a stronger working relationship between you and them since you demonstrate that you value their opinion. Be it negative or positive, it helps to respect both views and consider them equally before deciding whether or not you’ll have a flexible work arrangements policy.
Benefits of a Flexible Work Policy
- It opens up new sources of talent.
- It helps establishments lower the carbon footprint.
- It leads to happy and satisfied customers.
- It leads to faster growth of businesses.
- It allows work to proceed despite the conditions.
- It promotes a more productive workforce.
- Flexible policies promote better teamwork.
- It enhances diversity.
- Flexible work arrangements improve employee engagement.
- It maintains competitiveness between businesses and among employees.
What is considered to be flexible work hours?
A flexible work arrangement proposal is when the location or work hours established by an employer are altered at the request of a worker.
Employees who are striving to handle a personal issue as they handle work obligations ask for flexibility at work.
How Will a Flexible Work Policy Affect my Benefits and Pay?
If you request a flexible work schedule proposal that lowers your regularly scheduled hours, your payment is prorated accordingly. Also, some benefits may be affected depending on the total number of hours you work.
Will My Policy Request Always be Accepted?
It’s up to the manager or supervisor to accept or reject the request. If they reject, they should provide sound business reasons, such as performance issues. Ordinarily, should they turn down your request, they can discuss with you whether any options to your proposal may work better.
Can Every Worker Apply for a Flexible Work Policy?
Yes, they can. The only problem is that not every job is suitable for this policy. Depending on the location or nature of a specific job, it may not support a flexible work policy.
In special cases, supervisors or managers look for ways to grant employers with those kinds of jobs the permission to get a flexible work policy.
Can a Manager Alter my Flexible Work Policy Back to my Original Schedule at any time?
Absolutely. The policy can be ended or amended. Please note that your work schedule can be changed based on business needs, performance, staff changes, leadership changes, staffing changes, operational changes, and others.
The good thing is your supervisor or manager will give you prior notice (at least 30 days) before changing the current agreement. During the period before the 30-day duration elapses, you’re free to share your views.
What Happens if I Have a Flexible Work Policy and Move to Another Department?
You and your new employer should discuss the matter. Then you need to determine if your current flexible policy is suitable for the new position and department.
You’ll have to complete a new flexible work policy arrangement proposal and agreement form and have it accepted by the management and new supervisor.
Is it Possible for Me to Return to my Original Schedule if I’m Working in a Flexible Work Policy?
Yes, it’s possible. You just have to discuss your decision with your supervisor approximately 30 days before the date you want to resume your previous schedule.
Before making the switch, be sure that it’s something you want to do as reversal may not be immediately possible. It may not be possible at all depending on how long you’ve worked in the organization, your work progress, and other similar determining factors.
Please note that the manager or supervisor can implement a policy but may not be able to approve the request as soon as you want, depending on the department's requirements.
Are you looking to have a peaceful and thriving organization? Then putting a flexible work arrangement in place is all you need to do.
A flex-time policy is what employers and employees need now more than ever. Happy and satisfied employees, stress-free employers, what more can you ask for? The terms of these policies are straightforward and can be changed when it’s completely necessary.
Granted, adapting to them can be difficult- and in most cases, it may take a while- but the effort is worth it in the end.
Consider the benefits of a flexible work schedule policy and its positive contributions to the work industry. More and more establishments are implementing them and so far, there have been no complaints. No matter the size of your establishment, you too can benefit from it.
The only way to successfully implement a flexible work policy is to be optimistic and consult as much as possible. Put every resource you have at your disposal to use and we guarantee that you’ll never regret it.