How Flexible Work Options Promote Employee Innovation and Productivity

Burnout has become a hot topic during COVID. Everyone is feeling the affects of the pandemic, not to mention the economy, political turmoil and natural disasters. The good news is that many employers now realize that supporting the employee wellbeing is no longer a nice-to-have. Whatever the future of workplace looks like, work and life can no longer be treated as separate components that have no impact on each other.

So, what if there was a way to help your employees improve their work-life balance and benefit your company at the same time?

Offering flexible work programs may be the answer. A 2016 study looked at the impact of these policies on the staff of a Fortune 500 company. The results showed that workers who were offered these programs were happier with their work and experienced less “burnout and psychological stress” than the employees who were not.

These options, however, don’t just benefit your staff. When properly enacted, flexibility programs have numerous advantages for your company. Let’s explore how these workplace strategies can be adopted to improve your business.

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How Flexible Work Schedules Can Benefit Your Business

Here are four important ways that implementing these programs can benefit your organization:

1. Improved Employee Experience

Leveraging flexible work options boosts employee job satisfaction, reducing turnover while improving company loyalty. With more control over work-life balance, your staff is more likely to stay committed to their career within your company. Workers will be more vested in your business, elevating both productivity and innovation.

2. Easier Recruitment and Better Retention

Millennials make up more than 50% of today’s workforce, so it’s important to consider their professional needs if you want to hire people with the most expertise. They prefer flexible or remote work schedules that help them maintain priorities such as work-life balance, and these changing preferences are having a profound effect on business as a whole. Offering flexibility to millennials will make your company more competitive in attracting and retaining top talent.

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3. Greater Inclusivity

Flexible work schedules are an excellent way to provide inclusivity in the workplace. The pandemic has pushed many women out of the workforce since they tend to be the primary caregivers in their families. Managing remote education for their children as well as most of the housework generally falls to them.

Because of this, many full-time working women are resigning due to burnout. Offering flexible work programs can alleviate this stress and help secure the progress women have made in the modern workplace. These programs can also benefit others who need to work around a flexible schedule, such as people with disabilities or chronic health challenges, military workers, and more.

4. Potential Cost Savings

Flexible work programs can save money in several ways. Reducing the size and number of offices you manage lowers rent and utility costs. Employment options like job sharing or hiring freelancers lower payroll costs, allowing you to invest in other employee benefits and perks, including better quality healthcare choices or annual bonuses.

How to Create a Flexible Work Program

If you want to get started with these programs, your first step is to decide which flexible work policies fit your company. Because of the pandemic, your business may have already allowed employees to work from home temporarily. If so, turning this into a limited but permanent policy will be your best starting point.

Take a look at how well remote options have worked thus far and which times or days you most need your staff to be in the office. If you’ve had specific problems, such as technology issues, address those before offering a permanent program. Be sure to get input from human resources and IT experts to smooth the transition process.

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You can also tailor policies that do not reduce a 40-hour workweek. For example, shifting work hours down or up allows your employees more control over their schedule so that they can manage their family’s needs. You can also designate work-from-home days each week, which reduces employee commuting costs and demand for company-owned office space.

Managing the Transition

While working remotely can improve productivity, it’s important to help your employees maintain professionalism when they are not onsite. Inspire them to create a work atmosphere where they can flourish. For example, you might share tips on how to set up proper a background and lighting for virtual meetings. If possible, help your staff cover some of these costs with your IT budget.

Encourage employees to block off specific work hours without interruptions from family, house, or other responsibilities. Work with human resources to detail simple, common-sense policies about dress code and behavior during remote meeting sessions. Run a few trial meetings to ensure that the process and the technology are running smoothly.

Because not all employees can be productive at home, consider giving employees the option of visiting flexible offices close to home. These professional workspaces can be found in nearly every city and suburb, and many smaller towns and cities. Employers can manage flexible office usage by employees using LiquidSpace Enterprise, which is the first Work From Anywhere platform.

Finally, you may need keep track of your employees when they are working remotely. Managed software and services offer a variety of employee monitoring options to track website, application, phone, email, and even social media uses. A time-tracking system might also be helpful for payroll and cost analysis.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to cross a line into surveillance or break any privacy laws. It may take time to work out the details, so be sure to review these policies with a legal professional as well as human resources, to protect both yourself and your staff. If your policies are too intrusive, you will lose any ground you gained with these programs.

Offering flexible work options can foster productivity, creativity, and innovation in your team members. Happy employees are loyal employees, and that benefits everyone. It’s time to look into how these work programs can build your company and make it stand out from the competition.  

About the Author

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but business and technology topics are his favorite. When he isn't writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.

Topics: WFA Management

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