Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Flexible working - it's flexible and it's work - are you doing it successfully?

This very short news article hints at one of the most interesting ways to keep team members engaged in their work - flexible working.

There are many possible reasons why flexible working is so attractive to people and how it can beneficial to your organization.

Sometimes it's as simple  as a change is as good as a rest, other times it's saving time so that you can make your child's/ partner's event, often it's one way to give people breathing space to either concentrate, catch up or simply get some quiet time (that's right not everyone is an extrovert - sometimes we just need quiet time to recharge our batteries). Think of days in flexible working as preventative mental health days!

Of course with flexibility and freedom or autonomous work comes personal responsibility. If you are leading a team  and are nervous about flexile working first seek to establish how the person's environment out of the office will help them be productive, then be clear that the flexible worker understands what it is they are setting out to achieve in this alternative setting. Basically it's a mind set shift to work outside of the office but most professional people who have been through higher education understand that more work goes on outside the classroom under their own direction than in it and so have great potential for flexible working.

Above all the key to success in flexible working is in the name - the person is still required to work they have flexibility in location and perhaps task and the time frame that work is done over but it is still work. The best way for employee and employer to get success is to be clear about expectation - what the employee gets from the arrangement and what the employer gets too. Presentee-ism helps no-one.

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