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Flexible working is here to stay — here’s how to make it successful

Has there ever been a year with a greater impact on the workplace than 2020? For starters, what is the workplace? An office? A hotdesking space? Converted garage? Hot tub?!

Flexible working isn’t going anywhere. As businesses and employees are quickly realising the benefits of less time commuting, lower overheads and working in your joggers, here are some top tips to make flexible working a success for your business.

Figure out the essentials

While a lot of our work lives have shifted online in 2020, there are some things that can’t be done as effectively over Zoom or email (like dental procedures, MOTs, swimming lessons…).

Figure out the essentials for your business. What are the tasks that need to happen in real life? Perhaps it’s a physical tour for key clients, or specific in-person training. Every organisation is different, so what’s key to one won’t be to another. Of course, ensure that all the relevant social distancing protocols are adhered to.

Look after your people

Generally, workspaces are designed to help your team perform at their best, and to look after them while they do so. That’s why we have computer monitors at eye level, supportive office chairs and other equipment to help us do our jobs efficiently. 

If your team are working from their homes, make sure they’re properly kitted out to do so safely and effectively. Consider hardware and equipment, and also specific software and subscriptions they’ll need to work well.

Mental wellbeing is key too. You can’t send home your staff at 5pm if they’re already at home, but you can help to create healthy boundaries and expectations to make sure employees are resting.

Recognise the potential for conflict

If you’re operating a mixed workforce, with some employees in the office and some remote, then recognise the potential for confusion and conflict.

This can be stemmed with clear and regular communication among all staff. Be sure to reinforce your company values and culture at every opportunity to remind teams they’re all in this together.

Celebrate outcomes

Finally, make sure you’re continuing to recognise and celebrate great work from all your teams. Drawing attention to great outcomes will not only boost morale and motivation, but helps move your employees away from a ‘presenteeism’ mindset.

At 1850, we specialise in helping organisations thrive in the modern workplace and we’ve created some handy and practical HR guides to help you navigate the ‘new normal’ and ensure your staff stay productive, wherever they’re working.  Download them here >>

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