What is your standpoint regarding flexible work arrangements now that the demand for abandoning strict work schedules is on the rise?
Are you one of those business leaders thinking that flexibility wouldn’t work for your business?
If you are, the changed workplace perspective and circumstances over the past two years have proven you wrong, showing that almost any line of business can offer their employees flexible work arrangements and benefit from them.
Furthermore, advanced digital solutions like a video conferencing app, project management platform, and employee tracking solution helped numerous companies streamline business processes and keep track of the progress and productivity of employees who worked outside set office hours.
If you’re still having doubts about whether offering flexible work schedules may be a good idea that can boost productivity and overall business growth, keep reading.
Here you’ll find 5 common myths about flexible working busted that can incite you to offer your employees the opportunity to choose when and where they want to work.
When it comes to the myths regarding flexible work opportunities, it all boils down to the fear of lacking 5Cs:
When faced with a crucial change that may affect the way of doing things, some leaders freeze from fear while others tend to focus on seeking solutions. And if you stay focused, you can look at the change from a different perspective, adjusting to it effectively.
Lack of Control
Every manager feels like they need to have control over everything that’s happening in a company. This said, the fear that they can lose control over employees and their outcomes if they let some of them work remotely is real. You may think that allowing flexible work to some extent can cause a snowball effect, destroying productivity and leaving your offices empty.
Instead of imagining the worst-case scenario, try creating a clear and well-devised Flexible Work Policy that will outline standards and provide necessary guidelines.
First, you need to define the form of flexible work that you intend to offer (remote work, flexible schedules, shortened work hours, four-day workweek). Furthermore, create streamlined authorization processes. Finally, make sure that all employees are treated equally.
You should use a calendar system to keep track of who and where is working, and an employee tracking solution to keep records of their productivity and outcomes. By doing this, you’ll regain the control you need, shedding fears that your remote workers aren’t working.
2. Lack of Culture
Do you believe that the physical distance between office and remote workers will eventually transform into a psychological one, affecting your company culture based on strong interpersonal relationships and a sense of belonging?
This is a justifiable notion. But if you take some effective steps you can preserve your team connections. You can organize live social events or virtual ones.
Be really creative when organizing these events and offer your employees virtual happy hours, yoga classes, or cookouts. In this way, you’ll create shared experiences that can strengthen your employees’ sense of community.
Also, try to make the most of the days when all your employees work from the office for much-needed social interaction and sharing.
3. Lack of Connection
This myth is closely related to the previous one. Business leaders fear that allowing remote work to some extent may make it impossible for employees to connect on a professional and personal level.
If you share this belief, you’re wrong. Technology nowadays allows employees to connect and share information wherever they are. Also, with an array of video conferencing platforms, you can host meetings whenever you want, using scheduling apps to check your team members’ availability.
You can even use these platforms to set up virtual brainstorming events if you want your office-based and remote employees to meet, get to know each other better, seek advice, and have fun.
It’s always a good idea to ask your employees how they prefer to communicate at work. The BNI survey shows that 33% of employees from around the world prefer in-person meetings while 16% of them are in favor of online meets. But the majority of 51% of survey participants say that they’d like to combine live meetings with virtual ones.
This major shift in perception of workplace communication should incite you to include advanced digital solutions into your workflow to build tight-knit teams ready for the future of work.
4. Lack of Cross-Team Collaboration
When working from the office, employees can share ideas and tips on the spot, without having to wait for the wanted feedback for hours to get the job done. However, if your employees with flexible schedules reply to emails timely, attending all scheduled meetings, your cross-team collaboration won’t be disrupted.
Technology can also contribute to enhanced collaboration. Besides a project management platform, an employee tracking solution can help you keep an eye on projects and tasks’ progress, aligning it across teams.
This advanced app will let you see how much time your employees spend on specific tasks, allowing you to make more accurate deadline predictions for future similar projects.
You can analyze tracking data to see whether they’re struggling with some issues, providing solutions or support on the spot.
5. Lack of Contribution
Most leaders stick to this myth because they think that “seeing is believing.” If you fear to let your employees work remotely because you won’t know whether they’re actually working, you better think twice. Those employees that you see every day in your office working can be browsing for more flexible job opportunities right before your eyes.
Furthermore, by naming this lack of trust as your reason for sticking to the traditional way of working, you may disappoint and demotivate your employees bringing down their engagement and productivity.
Luckily for you, an efficient employee tracking solution can help you keep track of employees’ work activities, allowing you to see what apps and websites they use on a regular basis, measuring their productivity at the same time.
This objective and real-time track record will help you stay in control of your teams’ productivity and performance without having to micromanage them.
You can also use employee tracking information to recognize hard workers and reward them, providing additional training and guidance to those who tend to fall behind.
All these steps will enhance your employees’ trust and confidence, enhancing their feeling of belonging and commitment to your company’s goals.
It has become clear that the way we work won’t go back to “normal” any time soon. Instead of lamenting over “ the good old days” try to use advanced technology to fight your fear of 5Cs and embrace the benefits of flexible work arrangements.