Several times each year, the Smart HR team gathers to discuss our experiences and HR trends that have an impact on our clients. We discuss what HR initiatives are working well and what obstacles our clients are facing. We also discuss how we can improve our consulting platform to add as much value as possible.
At our latest all-hands meeting, one topic reigned supreme: workplace flexibility. While many job-seekers view this as a major incentive to join a company, Millennials practically demand it. Flexibility that used to be seen as a “nice to have” is now standard – while it used to be a way for companies to set themselves apart, now it’s a must to keep up with the ever-changing job market. We realize that for some businesses, this simply isn’t an option – but workplace flexibility can be a difference maker for many organizations.
What exactly constitutes “flexible”? You might shy away from this concept altogether if the first thing that comes to mind is a completely remote workforce. But there are other ways to create a flexible workplace without going all-in with telework. Here are a few ideas:
- Core hours. By setting core hours – say from 9am-3pm – you allow your workforce to decide when they come in as long as they’re there within that window. So, whether they work 7am-3pm or 9am-5pm, if they’re in the office during that timeframe, they’re good to go. This allows you to maintain an undisrupted work day while giving your employees some much-appreciated flexibility.
- Compressed Workweek. Allowing your employees to follow a compressed workweek – meaning they work more than 8 hours a day for fewer than 5 days a week as long as it still equals 40 hours – gives them the ability to maintain work/life balance while still guaranteeing they work a full week. It’s a win-win for both employees and employers.
- Limited Remote Work. Start slow with remote work options, maybe one day per week. If that goes well, you can always ramp it up.
No matter how you choose to implement workplace flexibility, remember to take baby steps. It’s easier to go slow and gradually increase flexibility versus giving too much and then needing to backtrack. After all, showing your employees you trust them and are looking out for them is a key component to a happy – and productive – workplace.
Looking for more leadership tips? Check out the Smart HR blog.