The future at work and looking at better outcomes today was the topic of our recent blog, (click here to read it in full), in it we explored how flexible work can be just as beneficial for employers as it is for employees, unlocking greater productivity, stronger profitability and a host of knock-on impacts.
But how can this theory be put into practice?
Flexible work is such a broad term that, taken at face value, it can be hard to know where to start. The destination – flexible work that’s driven by employee choice – is clear, but the journey to get there can easily become complex. This blog aims to give you some help as you put together your roadmap towards flexible work that delivers better outcomes for all.
In particular, we’ll explore four key actions for you to undertake, that can help you ensure your implementation hits all the right notes for you, and for your workforce:
1. Talk to your employees
It almost sounds like it’s too obvious to be worth stating, but never before has it been so important to truly listen to your workforce and act on their sentiment. And this means making a conscious effort to make a real connection and give employees an open platform to air their views on the future of work: a loaded survey that generates the answers you want to hear doesn’t cut it.
There are two reasons why this is so critical. The first is that if a flexible work model is to be led by employee choice around how, where and when they work, then they need to play a leading role in defining the detail of that model.
After all, who knows better what employees want than employees themselves?
The second reason is more direct: employees that feel that they’re being listened to will feel more valued, and therefore happier in their jobs, and therefore more productive (which neatly brings us back to the virtuous circle we mentioned in the last blog…).
2. Calculate the value of flexible work
Of course, whatever flexible work model is put in place has to deliver a positive outcome at a financial level, just as it should at a productivity level and an employee well-being level. There’s a balance to be struck in giving employees as much flexibility as possible, without becoming a hindrance to the operations or growth ambitions of the organization.
This is why estimating the monetary value of implementing flexible work is a worthwhile enterprise. Our eBook on flexible work covers this calculation in more detail, and explores the many different areas from which value can be derived, including:
- Reduced unwanted staff turnover
- Reduced absenteeism
- Increased productivity
- Improved employee well-being
- Reduced per-employee office costs
Making this assessment ensures that the implementation of flexible work is financially sound, and can be justified at board level when the key decisions are being made.
3. Explore technology
It can be very easy for flexible work to become far more complex than it needs to be. With every employee working to their own schedule, it’s vital that everyone can easily keep track of who is working when and where. Without this information, collaboration and even normal day-to-day work can quickly become disorganized.
The solution to this is to deploy a technology platform that puts all this information at the fingertips of every employee, wherever they are. Ideally, this should be as part of a workspace booking solution through which employees can reserve desk spaces, meeting rooms and other resources for their days in the office. Through this platform, employees can easily and independently organize themselves to come together as and when required.
4. Remain open to changes
The world of work isn’t standing still, and so neither should you. The flexible work model you put in place today might not suit the needs of the business, or your workforce, in a year’s time or in five years’ time. So a constant attitude of reviewing the success of flexible work, and in reshaping the office environment, is critical.
Data – and the analytical insights that can be generated from that data – is the key to getting these decisions right.
A good workspace booking solution will incorporate these capabilities, and make good use of the workspace usage data generated by your employees every day. More informed decisions will help you maintain a flexible work model that produces the desired outcomes for all, whatever the future may hold.