Just as technology has changed the way you operate your business, it’s also changed the way your employees perform their work. Rather than confine your team to a cubicle or a desk for the entirety of the workday, it can be more beneficial to offer flexibility as a way to improve overall employee engagement. If you aren’t familiar with the practice, learn how it can revolutionize and revitalize your company.
A Better Work-Life Balance
One of the most prevalent reasons to consider workplace flexibility is that it gives your employees a greater work-life balance. No matter your industry, there are bound to be periods of stress in the workplace, be it internal or external stress. With workplace flexibility, your employees can work from home in the kitchen, office or basement where they might be more comfortable or better able to concentrate. Something else to think about is that employees won’t have to endure the stress of the dreaded morning commute, which can completely destroy an otherwise great day as well as overall employee engagement.
Retain Key Employees
If you’ve been in business long enough, you already have an idea of how costly it can be when employees quit and you have to bring in replacements, who may or may not perform the same as your old employees. By giving your current employees the option of telecommuting or an alternative schedule, you stand a better chance of retaining them and their skills. Not only can workplace flexibility help you retain your employees, it can also make for more loyal employees as well, ones who will perform their jobs with everything they’ve got.
No matter how well organized and structured your office might be, there’s still a chance some of your employees won’t feel 100 percent comfortable working there. By failing to prioritize employee engagement, you run the risk of your employees not being as productive as they could be if they were working in a more comfortable environment.
Other than overall comfort, it could be office politics that make employees feel they’re unable to work in peace at their desks. Whatever the issue, it can be a great help to let your employees know they have more freedom about where they get their work done. There might be a coffee shop close to an employee’s home or just down the street from your office where some members of your workforce might be better able to concentrate and get work done.
Structure Flexibility the Right Way
Before you cut your employees loose to work where they like and how they like, there need to be some guidelines in place. It’s important that you first screen employees before letting them work from home in order to make sure they won’t goof off and get distracted more than they actually work. Specifically, you’ll want to check out the space in which the employee will be working. While this might seem intrusive, it’s just as much for your good and peace of mind as it is your employees’.
You might also want to set guidelines to improve employee engagement while they’re working away from the office. For instance, will you want employees to remain at home the entire time while working away from the office, or do you mind if they run out to do errands around town Meeting deadlines and daily objectives might hinge on whether or not employees stay close to their work. Rather than emailing or calling through the day, you may be better off scheduling webcam meetings with employees working away from the office. Whatever you decide, make sure the employee is clear on any stipulations and expectations involved.
Still Not Convinced
If you’re still hesitant about offering more workplace flexibility, you may be swayed by statistics. It’s not unusual to hear of companies saving several millions of dollars in employee turnover by increasing employee engagement and offering more workplace flexibility. Roughly 70 percent of managers and nearly 90 percent of employees report that a more flexible workplace positively impacted their overall productivity. You could at the very least perform a trial period to see how it works out, how it impacts employee performance and whether your company seems to operate better with more flexibility.
Do yourself and your employees a favor and embrace modern business practices of workplace flexibility. If you’re interested in learning more professional methods of making your business better and making all-star hires, be sure to check out more of the tools and articles here on Mighty Recruiter.