Flexibility Or Productivity?
A lot of companies give employees some perks for working for them. Flexible schedule is among such benefits.
Digitalizing processes lead us to the fact that employees mostly expect the possibility of working in a suitable time and place. Nine to five scheme doesn’t work anymore. And it is actually great that a lot of companies let their employees this freedom of staying tuned from wherever they are: a cute café, a coworking space or even from home.
Employers realize the obvious advantages of this approach. This way they are empowered with the ability to attract the best talents.
But there is the tail, as always. Some companies’ executives say the productivity may be hurt and team spirit/culture is at zero level if employees have too much freedom and do not show up in the office.
If this happens to your company, consider a few questions:
Are your employees taking advantage too much?
The signs of freedom hyper-use:
- missed meetings;
- you can’t reach your employee online or on mobile while agreed working hours;
- burnt deadlines;
- underperformed KPIs;
- asking for Friday afternoon off too frequently and promising to work on a weekend instead.
Those signs definitely show that something went wrong in your company and your employees put their personal situations ahead of their job responsibilities.
How much flexibility allows performing tasks good enough?
Now think about the actual time that can be spent on essential tasks: how much time do your employees may need to complete them?
- Client meetings;
- Team meetings;
- Other ongoing tasks.
Try to make up the most effective mix for your employees: would it be online interactions or daily Skype meetings? Maybe weekly strategy sessions? Or anything else that you believe will work for your team best.
How to get some order back?
Setting any rules at your company, look at yourself first:
- do you take interest in your employees?
- are you responsive when they ask anything?
- do you translate promises into actions?
If you meet your employees’ expectations, then set yours:
- plan in-person meetings;
- set an exact time for online chats or team conference calls;
- define the expected response time range.
Coordinate the technology using in your company for communications: Skype for Business, Slack or Google Chat – no matter which one you choose, they all may work well.
Add a monitoring tool for time tracking purposes, like WorkTime, and workflow dashboards such as Trello to see everyone’s up to on projects.
How can company culture help to engage employees even more?
Every leader wants to work with focused and motivated self-starters no matter they are on- or off-site. Here comes the company’s culture:
- run regular meetups or workshops for sharing progress and insights;
- arrange Friday evening parties or lunches with your team or both.
Actually, you are free to make up any activities and set up any rules to bring your team together and empower them to be more productive.
You don’t need to choose between flexibility and productivity. Just prepare to combine digital freedom with optimized workflows considering these questions.