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Flexibility is a measure of how we deal with the unexpected. Flexible working Practices mean quickly adapting to new working situations and circumstances as they arise. Business and organization owners are changing their approach to suit diversity and inclusion. This includes being able to work when some changes occur. The way we work is changing – a lot of people now work remotely. Employees don’t necessarily have to be in the office, depending on the scope of their work.
In 2020 many work arrangements changed because of the coronavirus, which brought about a global lockdown. More people started working from home to keep the business running. There were changes in rosters and hours of work and some cases, additional work responsibility. Transition back to work after the lockdown; employees are expected to adjust to their regular routines. That is why we have flexible working arrangements. Employees may choose a different work schedule or may initiate various schedules to meet their target.
Common Examples of Flexible working Practices
· Changing working hours to fit as an aspect of one’s life
· Working from home
· Job sharing
· Changing from full-time work to part-time work
· Division of responsibility
· Starting and finishing work at different hours
Flexible employees can change their plans to maneuver or overcome unexpected obstacles. Taking the global lockdown in 2020 as an example, some companies could barely survive because of their lack of preparedness for the unexpected. Nobody anticipated that such could happen, and then it happened so fast. It left many companies no time and chance to put things in order. An employer can encourage flexibility by giving employees the freedom to choose how they work. This includes their work schedule and the location of their choice.
The ability to respond to unpredictable incidents and swiftly adjust expectations is a valuable asset for both the company and the workers. If we have learned anything in the past few years, it is managing our working schedule to deal with the unexpected.
What can you do to achieve all of this:
Here I’m going to explain What can you do to achieve all of this:
1. Encourage Telecommuting
Telecommuting refers to discussions that happen through a medium that communicates with people in different places. It means to perform your work duties by using an electronic linkup that links you up with the office while you are away. One of your employees might be away from work, maybe for business-related or family-related matters and they will still do their jobs. This strategy is best used in positions that don’t require the worker to be in the office all the time. Although, managers still prefer an employee who lives close to the office in case his or her presence is urgently needed.
2. Remote working
Many of the big companies we have today have a bunch of remote workers. Remote work means work done entirely away from the office. Some people earn five and six figures, but they do not leave the four corners of their house to go to the office. The employee is not required to come to the office at all and they can live and work from anywhere in the world. Video calls and conferencing is the key to communication success in this strategy.
3. Part-time jobs
Not every job requires a full-time presence. The work needed in some jobs can be done and finished in a little time, but some offices require that you stay put even if you have nothing to do. Employers should evaluate their job descriptions and offer part-time positions.
4. Vacation periods
All work and no resting time results in burnout of the employees. The best vacation culture requires rewarding performance rather than hours used at work. Doing this will further encourage your workers to do more, achieving what they want to do on time.
5. Incorporating break and recess time
This is similar to that of vacation. Having a break and recess time allows for recharging themselves. Some employees might use that moment to rest or take a nap. By the time the break time is over, they are fit to continue working.
How to become more flexible at work
Being flexible at work is important. How do you make flexible working schedules at work?
Identify different needs
Employees’ needs are different from one another. Identifying these needs will give you an insight into how to plan the schedule. Some employees only need a short period to adjust, especially when new to their office. Others might need a long-term arrangement; not every situation is the same. It is important to have an eye on your employees; what works for one person might not work for another.
Look for low-cost solutions
Think about alternative measures to put in place that encourages flexibility but doesn’t cost much. This could be adding more work responsibility to under-engaged workers for some time.
Have an open conversation
To avoid confusion and uncertainty, it is advised that conversations be made at work. An open conversation might shine the light on some dark areas. It can also help to build trust between the employer and the employees.
Importance of Flexible working Practices
Here is some Importance of Flexible Working Practices:
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Great work-life balance
There is a life outside the workplace. Some employees are so choked with work that they have to bring unfinished business home to finish. This then becomes a never-ending trend of work, work, and work. A flexible working practice makes it easier for you to meet your personal, family, and some secular responsibilities. Striking a balance between work and life increases your chances of job satisfaction. You are more likely to perform well. As an employer, your employees feel happy and want to stay committed.
Being occupied with work leads to a reduction in production quality. With a flexible working schedule, you have the chance to work at your most productive hours. Some people enjoy working at night while some love it early in the morning — all points to getting the greatest level of productivity. You could quickly draw your working plans to suit yourself and still have time for other things.
Feeling of control
A flexible working practice gives an increased sense of control as regards your working schedule and environment. The opportunity to create your working schedule increases morale and reduces burnout.
You have control over the time when you create your work schedule. Especially when working remotely, you do not have to work for a stipulated amount of time. The goal is to get the work done and submit it before the deadline.
It is easy to manage risks if there is a proper flexible working culture. For instance, if the manager of an organization contracts coronavirus, he is expected to isolate while receiving treatment for several days. What happens to the company while he is away? It is very easy. He could easily connect with the office through telecommunication means.
Good and healthy living
Overworking yourself may lead to tiredness and sickness. A proper flexible working culture helps to reduce sickness and manage your health successfully. It also reduces the risk of going to work during harsh weather conditions that affect your health.
Disadvantages of Flexible working Practices
While Flexible working Practices might come with a lot of advantages, it also brings with them some disadvantages. Acknowledging these disadvantages will help determine the level of flexibility you want at work.
If flexible working practices are not utilized properly, it can lead to less productivity. Some employees only work efficiently when there is a tight work schedule and oversight. Seeing other people work might be a source of motivation for you to work more.
There is a high tendency for distraction if you work from home. The workplace is a breath of peace for some people as they cannot work at home. The kids might come to disturb you when you have an important meeting, or the wife or husband interrupts on multiple occasions.
Low level of teamwork
Flexible working practices focus more on individual working processes. If you work from home, you are alone, away from other workers. While you can still interact online, it cannot be compared to physical meetings and interactions.
When planning your work schedule, you hardly include finding time to communicate with the rest of the team. Except for work-related conversations, it is not common to initiate secular talks while on official telecommunications. There is some part of your coworkers’ character that cannot be said in words but seen through interactions and body language.
Lack of supervision
Flexible working practices are not well suited to employees that require constant supervision in their roles.
Hard to sanction defaulting workers
Every organization has its rules and regulations. It is hard to maintain the company’s culture when the office is not physical. Online communication hides a lot of facts that having a physical office will expose.
Frequently asked questions:
Here are the some Frequently asked questions:
Q: What are the main characteristics of work flexibility?
Answer: 1. Flexible work schedules 2. Self and Time management 3. Working from home or another location
Q: Do Flexible working Practices affect my relationship with my colleagues?
Answer: While it might not affect your work ethic and productivity, it affects your relationship with your colleagues.
Q: Can I include Flexible working Practices in my job request?
Answer: Yes, you must be able to convince your employers of your best working pattern and how it might be advantageous to the company.
A workplace that will be flexible requires trust between the employers and the employees.