There are, however, challenges organizations face during flexible working.
- Balancing the demands of customers and employees
- Treating employees on equally fair platforms
- Ensuring employees who are going to take advantage of flexible working hours are aware of the organization’s policy and are willing to accommodate it accordingly
- Making sure that the employees working remotely are treated fairly by other employees in the team by being made to feel like an integral and important part of the team; little differences can affect productivity
- Offering adequate training to the employees by encouraging them to do a wider range of tasks
Providing flexible working options to employees does not mean that the employees are to be left to do whatever they please. There are expectations and policies that should be outlined so your staff can carry out their respective jobs successfully.
How is flexible working different for small vs. large businesses?
There is not much difference in the flexible working options available between small and large organizations. Small businesses are turning to flexible working hours because it suits their bottom line.
However, the degree of flexibility and range of options can differ from small to large businesses. The communication in small firms tend to face fewer problems. The processes and languages used with flexible working policies are comparatively straightforward and direct.
It should also be noted that written or formal policies are less important in small organizations than in large ones. This allows flexibility. In case of issues and problems that may arise from flexible working, many small businesses may prefer to tackle them by talking with the individual involved.
How can small businesses make flexible working work?
Here are five essential tips to help your small business deploy flexible working options:
- Understand the business. The scope of flexible working options may differ from one business to another. If it is working well with a competitor, it may not necessarily work equally or better in your business. Some jobs can be carried out from home, whereas other jobs will require an office presence.
- Use effective communication. Flexible working should be communicated well and with the help of effective training. Sell the benefits of the flexible working to employees by incorporating them in your mission and core values.
- Define responsibilities. Ensure all employees understand their roles and responsibilities, so that flexible working can achieve its desired impact. When people understand their roles, there is less conflict.
- Make it acceptable. Set the right example. Make sure employees understand how flexible working can benefit them and the company as a whole.
- Measure, evaluate and improve. Remain open to ideas. Generally, small businesses are better than large organizations when it comes to evaluating the impact of flexible working.
Flexible working arrangements seem to be a growing trend commonly found in small organizations that practice them informally. When adopted with the right approach and implemented in the best way, flexible working systems can prove to be very effective.
Michael Evans is an online marketer and is currently working for a UK-based startup company, Sack-Truck.com.
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