In this day and age, a change in the way your employees work is becoming more and more necessary. Why? The line between work and leisure is becoming blurred. Employees are working from home or while on vacation. They even make themselves accessible on weekends. As their employer, it may be worth your while to consider implementing flexible work schedules and/or telecommuting into your business’ structure. You may find that it positively impacts employee productivity and satisfaction.
Start by evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of the programs. Some job positions can function just as well whether the employee is working on site or from a remote location. On the other hand, some positions rely on face-to-face interactions with clients. In this case these positions should remain as office-based jobs. Positions that heavily use telephones or computers can adapt to any location. With the advances in technology that we are seeing, you won’t be at a disadvantage.
How can you implement and manage these policies in the workplace?
- Telecommuting. The key is to have a specified work schedule that clearly defines the number of work hours per week. The employee should also be informed of your expectations of accessibility. For example, in the workplace, it is clear when employees are present and whether they are performing their duties. With telecommuting employees, however, it is less evident. These employees should use electronic media to regularly communicate their presence during the time they spend working. As an employer, you can also routinely check in on these employees to make sure that they are staying productive and to provide support.
- Flexible Work Schedule. A flexible work schedule is any in which the employee works during any hours other than the standard 8:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday period. The advantages of a work schedule like this may include decreased absenteeism and tardiness, greater availability to costumers, improved employee morale, and an overall increase in productivity to your business. The key to implementing this program is to, again, have a clearly defined work schedule. Establishing the hours per business day is also important. It lets your employees’ know when their other co-workers may be available and clarifies the workplace rules.
Implementing these programs doesn’t necessarily pose a financial threat to your business. It may even do just the opposite. This is because employers who have utilized these programs find they have less employee turnover. By instituting these policies you will prove to your employees that you value the balance between work and life. Before you make your decision, consider whether or not these programs would be counterproductive for you or your employees. Then clearly communicate your expectations and ensure that eligible employees are able to participate.