When it comes to creating flexible work environments, it requires an open-minded, flexible attitude from managers at all levels to give employees greater control over when, where or how work is to be done. It is not a matter of just being nice or a soft option. It is a business challenge. How you, as a manager, respond to demand for new working patterns, and how you introduce them, will determine how successful they are for your business and your people.
By ensuring that the needs of the business and its customers are not affected, managers must deal with the work at home requests in a reasonable manner. In order to dealing with requests, flexible work environments include an extra level of complication but with some cautious scheduling, these requests can be effectively dealt with.
Here are few tips on how to find the flexibility and work process that’s right for business, managers and the employees.
• First identify the needs of the business, customers and staff, particularly in the part of the company that you manage. Could you achieve better results with more flexible working arrangements?
• Discuss the flexible approaches possible with the whole team and involve them in how work will be accomplished, customer needs met, and productivity maintained or improved, and what communication will be required.
• To achieve improvements for the business, a successful approach is to give teams accountability for working out their own flexible working solutions. You will require to set the strictures as the manager – what cover is required, what mix of skills is needed at different times, how the team will communicate with each other, how problems will be resolved etc.
Finally, flexibility needs to work for all concerned and trust is the key. If you feel things are not working out for some individuals as well they should be, tackle this head-on and resolve any problems quickly.