Flexible Working

Four ways to address the pitfalls of flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements have come under the spotlight in recent years as more organisations look to help employees improve their work-life balance, bolstering productivity and improving staff morale and retention. But if not implemented well, these so-called flexi-work schemes that enable employees to work remotely may not achieve the intended outcomes. Here are four ways you can avoid the pitfalls of flexi-work arrangements:

Engage employees
One of the common mistakes made by employers is not engaging employees before rolling out flexi-work arrangements. Instead of driving policies from the top-down, employers should include employees across all levels in the organisation in the planning stages. Employees can be part of an implementation task force that looks into areas such as assessing the costs and benefits, developing programmes to prepare staff for flexi-work arrangements, as well as communicating the initiative.

Respect boundaries
One of the common mistakes made by employers is not respecting the time boundaries of employees who are on flexi-work arrangements. For example, if an employee works from 7am to 3pm on certain days of the week, managers should refrain from scheduling meetings involving that employee outside those hours. This will go a long way to gain the trust of employees that their employers are not merely paying lip service when rolling out flexi-work arrangements.

Set clear guidelines
Without a set of clear guidelines, it’s hard for employees to know if they qualify for flexi-work arrangements and the options available to them. This may lead to inconsistencies in the way flexi-work practices are adopted, and may even cause resentment among employees. In general, flexi-work guidelines should state what is required of employees, such as where they will be working at, when and which days of the week. They should also include review processes for constructive monitoring and improvement of an employee’s flexi-work options.

Training for managers
Depending on the culture of an organisation, managers who are used to seeing their staff at work in the office may not be supportive of flexi-work arrangements. These managers have to be educated on the fact that their employees’ deliverables and quality of work matter more than where they perform their jobs. Training programmes are thus necessary to help them to understand the business objectives of the flexi-work initiative, and how the programme can be applied effectively.

Find out how FUJIFILM Business Innovation can support your flexi-work journey with different business tools. Get in touch with us today!

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