If work flexibility was “nice-to-have” a few years ago, it’s now “need-to-have”—with 95% of employees wanting flexibility in when they work, and 78% wanting flexibility in where they work.
But that change is causing many to ask questions about how to balance flexible work arrangements and productivity.
The good news is, this might be easier than you think: 43% of staff have said that flexible work hours have improved their productivity. And to help keep your staff efficiency high, we’ve got a few tips and some staff thank-you gift ideas.
- Build team subsets.
- Set core hours.
- Invest in tools.
- Create at least one daily meeting.
Tip #1: Build team subsets
If your business has more than a handful of employees, it’s likely people must work with fellow staffers across departments and teams to make sure work gets done.
Consider working with your staff to build smaller, more permanent teams of employees that are all on similar schedules.
Find out what time and space your staff needs so you can create these teams. Start by sending out a survey and offering a staff thank-you gift, like a combination pen/laser pointer/flashlight or an easy-to-organize backpack, to everyone who replies. Or make it into a contest opportunity and give away a jacket or cheese set to whomever fills out your survey first.
Tip #2: Set core hours
When your office staff includes night owls, early birds and everyone in between, trying to get all team members to collaborate can be a challenge.
A set of “core hours” when associates are expected to be available for collaboration—say 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.—creates a pocket where staff can easily schedule collaboration time.
Tip #3: Invest in tools
Because your staff isn’t in the office every day working the same hours, quick connections and easy access to internal data is critical to combine flexible work arrangements and productivity. Invest in tools that include:
- File-sharing applications, like Dropbox®, that allow people to collaborate on spreadsheets and pass files back and forth without losing drafts in email.
- Fast communication programs, like Microsoft® Teams, to make it possible to message a quick question, put together a short meeting between collaborators, or share screens so everyone can see what’s being talked about in real time.
- Scheduling tools, such as Monday.com®, to let everyone know what deadlines are coming up.
Not sure which tools will work best for your team? Put together a small testing crew and have them give a test run. Then show your gratitude by giving everyone a multi-tool or tool kit as a staff thank-you gift.
Tip #4: Create at least one daily meeting
Large or small, there’s going to be a moment when employee A needs to talk with employee B, but their schedules make it hard to meet up.
Scheduling one required daily meeting for everyone—whether it’s for 15, 30 or 60 minutes—makes it possible for people to ask questions, get direction, or set up a longer collaboration time later in the day.
Get more done anytime, anywhere
Flexible work arrangements and productivity? It’s easier than you think. By creating a few opportunities to keep in touch, everyone’s work can keep moving forward—and your business can go onward and upward.
- Create small staff subsets on the same schedule.
- Designate one part of the day where everyone is available.
- Set a daily team meeting.
- Use tools for easier collaboration.