Traditionally, many businesses and industries have shied away from flexible working. But the COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for change, speeding up the shift to a more flexible working world.
Offering flexibility as part of a compensation package can give businesses access to talent they may not have been able to afford previously.
While traditionally, there may have been roles, such as client-facing roles, or those that deal with specific technology, where it may be seen to be impractical to offer flexible working. But it is nearly always achievable.
In this article, we take a look at how even the most inflexible workplace can introduce flexible working policies.
Flexible working needs to start with discussion and strategy.
Integrating flexible working in any business requires discussions to take place at an executive level.
New flexible working policies have the potential to change fundamental business operations, so these policies must be discussed and decided on from the top. Official policies and guidelines may need to be drawn up and communicated throughout the business. Line managers will need to know how to put these new policies into practice and what they have permission to allow.
Once critical decisions are made, engagement should begin on individual levels so that everyone knows what their roles are.
Flexibility needs to become a default management mindset.
In many organisations, there can be a subconscious fixed mindset. However, in order to establish a successful flexible working policy, this needs to change.
Line managers will need practical support from the executive team to implement flexible working within their teams and to see the benefits of having a flexible working team.
Flexibility should become the line manager’s default position.
Flexibility needs to be supported in the long-term.
Flexibility needs to become a company culture. So once it is implemented, keep the momentum going and implement it into your everyday business operations.
Stay on top of your new policy by:
Ensuring line managers have the appropriate training to help them manage a flexible workforce.
Regularly review processes to ensure that they’re appropriate for flexible working employees.
Support any employees struggling with the shift to flexible working. Mentoring or training can help them deal with the change in their work environment.
Finding ways to incorporate some adaptability into the workplace is the future of working, with the predominant millennial workforce demanding it the most. Therefore, those companies that embrace it the quickest will have access to the best talent.