Monday 26th Jul 2021
As the world’s workforce explores new approaches to their roles during a global pandemic, business leaders have an opportunity to prove their own compassion, encouraging colleagues to tailor a routine that suits them.
Many employees are still opting to work remotely in favour of balancing their role with other commitments, reduce their travel time, and operate from surroundings they’re comfortable in. And it’s this flexibility, understanding, and trust from employers that results in happier staff with healthier work-life balances.
Of course, flexible working is not a new concept, but with the evolution of digital tools and various lifestyle changes, it’s more achievable than ever, providing value for both the individual and the business. Here are a few tips for getting it right…
Maintain team morale
An increase in remote and flexible working leads to fewer colleagues operating in the office at one time. Equally, unconventional work schedules can mean that team members’ paths rarely cross naturally.
Try to make the time to keep morale high to encourage a staff culture that you can all be proud of. Arrange monthly socials to get together outside of work and not ‘talk shop’.
Trust from both sides is absolutely integral to flexible working, as managers are required to believe in the team to remain efficient and productive, while being supportive of their own routines in return.
Those in leadership roles should schedule regular check-ins with individuals to make sure the new regime is working and iron out any teething troubles.
Communication is key
Maintaining effective levels of communication is a crucial piece to the flexible working puzzle to ensure everyone is on the same page with projects and deadlines.
Regular meetings, calls, and video conferences are great for speedy check-ins with colleagues and will help to instil that all-important team spirit in spite of the distance.
Output not input
Try to focus on tangible results and deliverables rather than the journey to get there. Despite not being able to see the team at all times, you can still keep an eye on their work by assessing the end result — if this is delivered to a high standard and without prompts, keep doing what you’re doing.
Remember, employees respond well to positive feedback and gratitude — even if it’s not carried out face-to-face, it’s still a valuable tool to boost motivation — send a team shoutout or a private message to let them know you appreciate their efforts.
Invest in training
It’s important to provide colleagues with the appropriate training to allow them to do their job to the best of their ability, while employing technology that makes life easier.
As your colleagues are given the freedom to control their own time, some may struggle to manage workloads with their other responsibilities. Be on the lookout for obvious signs of overwork or burning out and address it early within a safe environment.