Many organizations are embracing flexible work arrangements. Some companies let employees choose when, where, and how they work. Unlike traditional full-time jobs, this arrangement allows employees to work outside the conventional schedule.
Examples of flexible work arrangements include telecommuting, working remotely, and flex scheduling. They offer more freedom to employees and greater flexibility for the organization. However, they also have challenges, especially for managers.
For instance, employees may have slower career advancement due to fewer in-person training opportunities. In addition, companies face an increased threat to employee turnover since workers have more options. Now that they’re getting used to virtual offices, they can search for opportunities to develop their potential.
Thinking outside the box as you manage this type of arrangement is essential. It’s best to find more ways to increase your chances of retaining top talents while maintaining high productivity. You can also experiment with various methods to determine what works best for your organization.
Here’s how you can successfully manage a flexible work arrangement:
Manage Flexible Work Arrangements: Ask Employees What They Want
Before you start implementing a flexible work arrangement, considering your staff is a must. In other words, knowing their preferences and concerns helps you establish a plan that works for everyone involved.
For instance, what if a team member prefers to work from home but doesn’t have reliable internet access? Will it be your company’s responsibility to provide the necessary equipment, or will they need to purchase it themselves?
Ask your employees about their preferred working arrangement before implementing one. Considering your teammates’ preferences can help you devise a solution that meets everyone’s needs.
With flexible work arrangements, your department is still accountable for daily goals. Thus, ensuring that each staff member meets the standards of those goals is crucial. You can set up a system of accountability. It’ll help your employees become more responsible for their performance.
One way to do so is by having online meetings before starting a workday. During these meetings, every member of the team takes turns to discuss these questions:
- Did you accomplish your daily goals yesterday?
- What are the tasks you’ll work on today?
- Is there an obstacle that limits your progress?
While going through each session, ensure it won’t exceed 15 minutes. A strict time limit allows everyone to share brief details about their productivity. It’s better than having lengthy discussions about tasks. This way, you can identify who’s performing well and who needs further attention and guidance.
Address Performance Issues
Your goal as a team leader is to ensure that all members accomplish their tasks. Unfortunately, it’s common for many team members to submit low-quality output with a flexible work arrangement. Implementing a different approach can help manage your team.
The goal is to eliminate performance issues and ensure everyone on the team performs at their best. You can create an official record to monitor your team members’ actions. Outlining suggestions can help them achieve better performance results. You can also include corrective actions if there are no changes in the employee’s behavior, performance, or attitude.
You can submit this record to the human resources (HR) supervisor. They’ll administer a formal reprimand to apply disciplinary action to ensure they change their ways or face termination. This regulatory strategy can ensure everyone prioritizes work quality, even with a flexible work arrangement.
Make Data Accessible
Data accessibility can be an issue, primarily if your team members live in different locations. What if you still use hardware or printed copies to relay confidential business information? If you do, there may be delays in projects if your team members can’t access the data immediately.
One excellent way to solve this problem is by moving departmental data to the cloud. This way, your team members can access information anywhere at any time rather than waiting for permissions. They can work on their tasks at their own pace, making projects progress faster.
However, easy accessibility comes with a price. Cyber threats could affect data security, such as malware or phishing attacks. As such, a cybersecurity strategy is excellent to ensure your data remains safe from hackers. You may also need to invest in cybersecurity training for your team members so they won’t compromise any information.
Manage Flexible Work Arrangements: Conclusion
As organizations adopt flexible work arrangements, you must learn how to manage your team effectively. In other words, the traditional managing methods no longer apply to employees with a more fluid schedule. And since most operations are online, being on the lookout for cyber threats is a must. With cybercrimes increasing rapidly, your team might accidentally give away confidential data to hackers.
On the other hand, it’s possible to ensure the success of managing a flexible department despite the challenges. It all starts with being considerate of the needs of your teammates, such as putting importance on their work-life balance.
By following these tips, you can guide your team as they work with flexible schedules. Meanwhile, making your employees feel valued can help improve their productivity. Also, make sure to provide regular feedback to them. It can help them maintain their work quality and performance satisfactorily.