Would you like to find a way to boost productivity, retain your top talent and reduce overheads? Flexible working, when done the right way, promises all these benefits and more. There are two crucial elements you need to set an effective flexible working policy in place: culture and technology.
What flexible working means
Flexible working practices give employees the freedom to make their own decisions about the times and places that enable them to work best. This might be allowing an early bird to work from home because they prefer to start at 5am; or it might be allowing a valued worker to finish a little early so they can collect their child from school.
Sometimes an employee might opt to change their place of work depending on their current project or activity. So a research phase might be carried out in a library, planning in the office and delivery through mobile working at multiple sites. With today’s technology, it is easier than ever before to move seamlessly through different work environments.
Without the right culture, flexible working does not work. Employees must be trusted to complete their workload in a place and at a time that suits them. If there is a culture of suspicion, workers will feel they need to demonstrate presence on email to show they are working, or put in a set number of hours at the office to prove they are not slacking off.
Equally, managers who do not truly embrace flexible working focus on process rather than outcome. Instead of trying to keep tabs on the hours an employee is working, managers should measure how the worker is performing against their agreed objectives. It’s a change of mind-set that takes time to establish within an organisation but one which many companies are adopting as we move into 2016.
Flexible working technology
The second crucial element is technology. Without the tools to make flexible working efficient, you will not see the full benefits it can offer. Remote workers need to be able to access information and collaborate or communicate with colleagues, customers and partners. Audio visual technology offers opportunities to do all these in a fluid and cost-effective way.
For example, multi-party video conferencing allows home workers to integrate with a team working in the office or colleagues in multiple locations. A simple webcam linked to a high-definition screen and user-friendly connection interface allows the worker to dial into online meetings with minimum fuss.
Video conferencing is also complemented by collaboration solutions. Colleagues can use message boards, cloud storage systems and forums to share information, discuss ideas and analyse data at a time and place of their choosing. Using mobile devices, tablets and laptops to connect to collaboration platforms means colleagues can contribute even if, for example, they are abroad at a conference for a week. There is no longer any need to put projects on hold if a colleague is out of the office.
Is your business missing out on the benefits of flexible working? Get in touch to discuss your requirements on 0800 612 0010.
Viewpoint Technology Team
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