Flexible working is increasingly becoming famous and widely used, with leading corporate firms adopting it. This goes a long way in the optimization of the value employees add to the organization or business.
In the United States of America today, 73% of adults say those flexible hours is one of the most important factors they consider when looking for a new job. Most big firms brag a lot about their successful implementation of flexible working hours. However, this is not a big deal to small start-ups, because they find it very easy to achieve.
One thing that I must point out is the fact that most entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance flexibility and productivity. For instance, 30% of consumer internet space say that this is a like a difficult juggling. Some of the biggest challenges are in:
- Determining whether your workers conduct themselves as required while working at home.
- Ensuring that the employees earn each cent in their salary, not by loitering around, chatting or engaging in other time wasting activities.
- Ensuring that even the best employees do not start the culture of coming to work late, despite the fact that they always get their job perfectly done.
Big corporations are on the move to fully adapt flexible work environments because it stirs one’s innovativeness, productivity, and creativity. Most new and established entrepreneurs are afraid of adopting this approach, as they are afraid that it might affect their businesses negatively.
It is, however, possible to successfully blend flexible working hours with your business, if you follow the following 3 simple rules:
1. Use of Time Trackers
There are softwares that help organizations and businesses to keep an eye on how employees use their time. This is a big challenge to employers, considering that time is very important in any business and the manner in which it is spent might contribute to business success or failure.
A manager can use the software from anywhere, be it at home, in a coffee shop or on a train. You can track the time of your recently hired freelancer or your in-house team through team time tracking. They make billing and preparing payrolls very easy, as they keep records of jobs done by each and every employee.
A time tracker is a vital tool for businesses and organizations who intend to perfectly monitor how their employees spend their time, whether inside or outside the office. Therefore, it is worth investing in, especially for flexible-hours employees.
“Automatic Time Tracking is the easiest way to accurately track all your time because sometimes you might forget to switch your time on, whereas this one starts automatically when you launch a task,” says Amy Watanabe, the Head of Customer Success at Timely.
2. Terms of Hire and Role Models
One of the things highly valued by startup workers is flexibility, not handsome salary perks and other benefits as provided by the big corporations, so doing away with it is unimaginable. As an employer, it is important that you single out the individual needs and preferred working plans of each employee.
For instance, someone might be comfortable coming to the office only once in a week and still produce excellent results. On the other hand, another person might need the company of colleagues in the office, playing some table tennis for some time during the day, in order for them to post satisfactory results.
In any business, you will have an employee or two who always stands with you through thick and thin. Probably, their performance is not always atop, but they bring in a lot of passion and positive energy into the business. You need to adopt such people as your role models.
This is a very effective approach, which makes formal rules unnecessary, as other employees tend to follow suit when they realize you commend the zeal, commitment, and passion of those you’ve picked as pacesetters. Young people are the most likely to deal with using this technique, as they are ambitious and want to have successful careers.
3. Creating Ownership and Defining Accountability
Injecting a sense of responsibility into your employees might take more than just a bonus and a fat salary perk. They are not likely to be self-motivated as you are, and may misuse the privilege of flexibility by failing to complete the assigned tasks.
A mission, vision and practicing equity may come in handy, as the workers will be motivated to know that they play an important role in the business. This sets an institutional culture and belief that the organization has a purpose that is bigger than any individual, hence creating a general sense of direction.
You will need to provide guidance for your team, as you set clear responsibilities for each person, in each task. Some entrepreneurs fail in this the moment they give collective instructions to teams. The early stages of a startup require strict observation of this rule, to avoid duplication of duties and overlapping of responsibilities.
The benefits a business accrues from adopting flexible working hours for its employees are invaluable, but failure to apply it correctly apply it might hurt the business in equal measure. The discussed rules will help your business do it right, and keep up with the dynamic working environments for businesses across the world.