3 Strategies for Creating a Flexible Return to Office
The demand for flexible work is on the rise. After most companies mobilized their workforce to work from home, employees have voiced extreme satisfaction in their newfound flexibility. Employees aren’t the only ones that are satisfied. An article published by Human Resource Executive stated that over 90% of employers polled reported sustained or increased productivity while working from home.1
Employees are demanding to know what the future holds as work arrangements will be as they announce their return to office plans. For many, the idea of flexible work is new and unknown. So what exactly is flexible work?
An ebook published by Manpower Group2 defines flexible work as one or several of the following arrangements:
- Flexible arrival and departure times
- Full-time work from home or location independence
- Choice and control in work shifts
- Part-time work from home
- Compressed shifts/work week
- Opportunities for extended time off, i.e., work sabbaticals
- Unlimited paid time off
- Caregiving leave
Picking and choosing which version of flexible work will best serve your employees will be entirely up to you. What most workers are vocal about right now is being able to choose where they work and when they work. Here are a few ways you can implement some new flexible work policies that employees will be excited about and leadership can get on board with.
Implement core hours
Core hours are fixed hours employees are required to be working and available for meetings and collaboration. This gives employees the flexibility to decide if they want to start early and finish when core hours end or the opposite, and start when the core hours begin and work later. This modified schedule provides clear expectations for collaboration hours and empowers employees to create the schedule that fits their lifestyle best.
Flex office space
Creating a flexible office space comes with a direct positive impact on the business. Some organizations had to reduce their physical office size and now need to develop new seating arrangements. Creating a flexible work plan can best accommodate a reduction in desks by implementing desk and room reservation technology. Employees will appreciate the ability to plan their workdays in advance. Employers will be pleased to see the office space maximized, even if your real estate footprint has been reduced.
Schedule reduced hour workdays
Whether it’s every week or once a month, offer employees a half workday. Studies have shown that employees with flexible schedules actually work more hours than those working in the office from 9 to 53. Don’t let that go unnoticed! Providing a reduced hour workday is one way you can remind employees you see how hard they’re working, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. This also encourages employees to schedule personal matters they may have put off for work or just catch their breath. This gesture will speak volumes to employees!
Employees are asking for new ways to work because they have directly felt the benefits of working from home or having flexible work arrangements. When flexible work is offered, employee satisfaction skyrockets. One poll showed 80% of respondents said they’d be more loyal to their employer if they offered flexible work3.
Flexible work is picking up steam and not showing signs of stopping. Implementing a couple of new policies can directly and immediately boost employee morale and attract talent for open roles.
Where to start? Planning will always be your best friend, especially with new policy implementation. The cornerstone of a successful team is communication. Make sure you have all the tools you’ll need to support a flexible team. The Appspace platform can offer multiple solutions in one centralized location to keep your team running, no matter where they work. Click here to see what solutions can help empower your team.
- “How COVID-19 will redefine workplace flexibility forever”, 2020, Human Resource Executive
- “Work, for me”, 2017, Manpower Group Solutions
- “How flexible work benefits companies and employees”, 2020, Flex Jobs
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