A Guide For Mastering Successful Flexible Working in 2023Jul 29, 2023
When you are an office manager, there are many things that you have to get good at relatively quickly, with one of the core ones being managing your team and dealing with customer complaints.
In 2023, however, this has taken on a new form, and what was once seen as a necessary skill for an office manager to have has shifted. Now, you will also need to be able to master flexible working arrangements for the majority of your team.
What Is Flexible Working?
To catch the people up at the back who may not be aware of what flexible working is, this is an arrangement that allows employees to have a degree of control over their work schedule, the location, and the hours that are worked, instead of adhering to the boring and traditional 9-to-5 office hours. A flexible working solution offers your team the ability to adapt their work routine to better suit their needs and preferences, which is great if they have other commitments, such as families or other jobs.
The goal is to promote a better work-life balance, and the common features of flexible working include telecommuting or remote work, which is when someone works from home, or offering flexitime, which is where an employee can vary their start and end time with the needs and requirements.
In some settings, this can also involve a compressed work week, which is where an employee may work a full number of hours over fewer days or even annualized hours. This is where employees have a set number of hours they need to work over the course of the year, but they choose as and when they work them.
This can become very complicated, and as a workplace manager, it is your role to master success for flexible working to ensure that your office is always fully staffed and that your team is kept happy. So, what are some tips for doing this? Read on to find out.
Establish Clear Expectations
When it comes to flexible working arrangements, you need to set crystal-clear guidelines and expectations. You need to communicate the core working hours, deadlines, and preferred communication channels, such as WhatsApp, to ensure that everybody understands their responsibilities to the team. This will help to maintain accountability and will also ensure that your team members are on the same page whilst ensuring that you have a way to communicate with all of your team should something go awry.
Be sure to also make it abundantly clear when your team will be able to work from home or when they will be needed to come into the workplace. This will allow you to rent private offices with more flexibility, which will save you money in the long term.
Embrace Technology And Collab Tools
WhatsApp was mentioned earlier, and when it comes to mastering a flexible working environment, these kinds of apps are crucial for seamless communication and collaboration. You will need to invest in reliable project management and communication tools too, which will allow you to hold virtual meetings, share files, and track tasks. You will also need to ensure that all of your team members are trained and are comfortable using these tools effectively so that the most work is completed in the shortest time span.
Focus On The Results
Most people who have worked in a shop or another workplace that is similar have known the irritation of being required to work 40-hour weeks when there is simply no work to do. This can cause extreme boredom and a lack of productivity. Flexible working will allow your team members to balance work and personal commitments, which will lead to increased job satisfaction and improved performance. Therefore, you need to focus on the results that are given rather than the age-old, 'but you didn't finish at this time,' which can cause your team to feel very frustrated. If they are getting the work done on time, and it's good, it doesn't matter if they clocked off a few minutes early!
Be Sure To Check-in And Give Feedback
To make sure that all of your team are happy, you should aim to keep the lines of communication open via regular check-ins with individual team members and meetings. Aim to use these opportunities to discuss the progress that your team is making, identify challenges with software, and offer support. You should also be open to receiving feedback from your team on how they're finding flexible working arrangements and be adaptable to changes that may need to occur.
Work-Life Balance is Important!
Remember, the primary benefit of flexible working is its potential to improve the work-life balance for your team. As a manager, you need to lead by example and advocate for this within your team; encourage them to take breaks, vacations, and time off when they're becoming flustered or if they have an issue that has popped up. When your team feels supported in these settings, they are more likely to be engaged and to do better, which benefits you in the long run.
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