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Flexible working has risen sharply in the last few years. It is by far the best way to allow your staff a little more freedom to balance their work and social lives and it can also give your office a more relaxed and creative feel.
However, if flexible working is new to your office, you might be worried about how it will work for your business. Like all new policies, you need to think carefully about how to implement flexible working, maximizing the positives and reducing the negatives.
So here are a few ideas to help you out.
Before you can accommodate more flexible working strategies, you need to implement the systems that make it possible. For example, installing VoIP Solutions would allow your staff to take calls no matter where they are and using a shared working platform will fully release your staff from their desks.
Security is key here. You need to make sure that no matter what the systems are, your company’s intellectual property is preserved. Asking an IT company for help to design the perfect system is a really good idea, especially if you are planning to expand.
When your staff work set hours and all are in at the same time, you need to have a certain amount of space and allocated desks. However, when everyone is working to their own pattern, you might prefer a more flexible and creative approach, which should also improve productivity.
Instead of having desktops everywhere, it might be a better idea to give your staff laptops. This way, they can choose where they are most comfortable working. Splitting your office into particular zones will also help. For example, you might have a more relaxed seating area with sofas and beanbags as well as a more formal office space and meeting room. Your office directly impacts the health and wellbeing of your employees so it is vital that you get the balance right.
There are a lot of different versions of flexible working according to the kind of work your employees are doing. For example, flexible work for a designer might mean the ability to work from home on some days but that simply wouldn’t be feasible for a shop assistant. Similarly, flexibility during the day might depend on the opening hours of the business.
However you choose to work your flexibility, it’s essential that you set the rules out clearly. If flexible working means working at home is okay, you might like to set a number of days that your employees must be present in the office or work out a system for checking that they are working effectively when they are away. Equally, you might like to take a case by case approach and simply ask that your employees give a week’s notice for the hours they plan to be in the office.
Whatever system you come up with, remember that flexibility must be about improving both productivity and the health and wellbeing of your staff. It’s a careful balancing act and may take some experimentation to get right.
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