Flexible work is not something new, but it is rapidly becoming the new normal
The world has changed, and our personal lives have significantly changed too. Thanks to the Covid-19 "crisis", we can't just do what we formerly used to do. Terms like social distancing, lockdowns, and quarantine have become part of our daily conversations. We are wearing masks, and we are thinking twice before booking our next flight. But all of this has impacted not only our personal lives but our work too. In the past few months, companies all over the world have experienced major transformations. Now that the situation has started to improve slowly, many of us are asking the same question... When are we going back to normal? What if the new normal isn't the normal that we knew? Honestly, we can all admit that there is no going back to the "old way of working". Flexible work has become the new normal. The big question is, how prepared is your business to handle the transition?
Tips for successfully embracing the new normal flexible work
Implement a flexible working policy
Now more than ever, employees have become more aware of the flexible working concept. It is very likely that almost all of your employees had to switch to work from home mode for at least a few months. That means they were offered a lot of flexibility, which they probably enjoyed. So if you want to retain those employees, you should consider adding a few changes to your company's culture. For example, think about allowing them to decide where they would like to work from. Flextime work option is another interesting subject. Basically, it will enable your employees to choose when to work. Of course, this can't work for every company out there, but plenty of businesses can benefit from it.
Giving your employees the freedom to determine their workplace and their hours will make them happier. It will ensure them that you trust them enough, which will increase their loyalty. And who doesn't like happy and loyal employees?
Stay connected to your team
Yes, of course, you are connected to your team; we know that. What we are trying to say here is - keep the personal connection. Don't underestimate the importance of socializing even if your whole team is working remotely, or having different working hours. And how do you do that? One idea is to set a standard weekly time on which your team can have a call. Notice - a call, not a meeting, which means that you can talk about everything except work. For example, at Soon we have the Friday afternoon drinks, which is every Friday at 5 pm. At 4:55 pm, even if we are not done with our work for the week, we all grab a beer and have a chat. Another idea is to organize a gathering or a fun activity now and then. It doesn't have to be anything super fancy or difficult to organize. This summer, we got together for a fun BBQ lunch at one of our founders' house. Of course, if your team lives in the same city, that makes a lot easier. If your team is not living in the same town, you can think about organizing an annual team meetup or something similar. It can be very motivating for your employees and something fun to look up to.
Be more open-minded when choosing your "toolkit"
Every company, big or small, uses at least a few tools that make work more productive. But if you want fully dive into the new normal flexible work, you have to be open to new ideas. One of your team members will likely come to you and ask for permission to implement a new tool. It might be the tool his best friend is using or something he randomly came across. Don't rush to say so. Give it a try, look it up a bit, and see if your business can benefit from it.
You might have to reconsider adding changes to some of your workflows. For example, how are you currently handling your team scheduling? Before Covid-19 came into the picture and everyone was working from the office, you probably did your planning using Excel. It wasn't that difficult; your team members were there if you needed to ask for their availability etc. The situation has changed. You are home alone, trying to figure out how to manage your team schedule without having to send a hundred emails. Believe it or not, it is not that difficult. All you need is a good scheduling tool. Soon is a great example, you can easily manage your team's day-to-day shifts, or you can give the freedom to your employees to do it. You can even plan your non-work-related matters - it is a win-win.
Do you feel ready to become part of the new normal?