How To Implement A Flexible Working Plan
It’s currently a candidate’s market. In specific areas, there is a huge demand for talent and multiple job offer situations are becoming the norm. As a result – organisations are having to pull out all the bells and whistles to try to attract the best people. For many organisations – this means reviewing their flexible working plan.
WHAT IS A FLEXIBLE WORKING PLAN?
A flexible working plan gives employees guidance as to how the organisation embraces flexible working and how it can be adopted in reality. There are many different interpretations of flexible working (and therefore, many opportunities for miscommunication), so it is important that your plan is clear and understood.
You’ll need to consider the following:
Clarifying what flexibility means to the organisation is the best place to start:
- The flexibility of hours – start early, finish early is the most common? But is it okay to work for some days for 10 hours and others for 3? (There are obvious legal implications, so make sure you’ve cleared this off with HR or legal).
- The flexibility of days – can you work some Saturdays in return for some Mondays?
- The flexibility of location – can you work from home? The beach? A cafe?
Is the flexibility something that endures or is it something that will change over time? (For example, some organisations are finishing early on a Friday in summer to give their staff an opportunity to enjoy the good weather).
For some organisations – being able to guarantee 2 days a week off-site means they don’t need to have as many desks for their staff – therefore less need for as much office space and savings over time.
You’ll need to have in your flexibility plan clarity as to what review mechanisms there are. It might be completely up to management to ensure that the flexibility in place is enhancing operational effectiveness, or it could be reviewed every 6 months.
You’ll need to cover off what your expectations are if you offer your team flexibility such as:
- they are still meeting their targets, deliverables and expectations
- they are still communicating effectively (you can get in touch with them)
- they know HOW to work from home (ie, they can plan and prioritise effectively, they know how what they need to achieve, they can separate home from work etc)
- they know the role enough that they can work without a manager sitting next to them
- if working from home – that the physical set up is adequate for success (i.e. there is a home office, not a comfy couch and a TV)
- if they are working from say a cafe – that privacy of company data is considered.
Working flexibility is great – but there is also a risk of it not working out if the expectations of flexible working are not clearly communicated. Make sure you develop a clear guide for your people so as to avoid the pitfalls for flexible working.
At Consult, we work with a range of organisations, so we have roles with varying degrees of flexibility to suit your wish list. Get in touch if you would like to know more!