INSIGHT

Tips To Make Flexible Working A Success In 2020

Out Of Office, Not Out Of Touch

Whether you call it flexitime, remote working, or compressed hours, flexible working is taking the working world by storm, helping thousands of people across the UK strike a balance between their career and home life commitments. It comes as no surprise then that businesses implementing flexible working policies report better productivity from their workers and much higher levels of job
satisfaction and engagement1.

Despite this, flexible working can be a challenging adjustment for those used to a traditional working week. Not needing to commute or clock in at 9am each morning can have a polarising effect2: while some workers don’t know how (or when) to switch off, others find it difficult to plan their new, flexible work days effectively. 

Whether you’re struggling with an all night email addiction or a serious case of procrastination, we’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of a flexible working arrangement so you can reap the benefits of a healthy work-life balance.

Make organisational software part of your process

Innovations in project management software have been key for keeping teams of flexible workers connected. It’s never been easier to plan your working hours around personal commitments and projects thanks to apps like Slack or Monday. Further, voice and video conferencing apps like Skype or PowWowNow have become the mainstay for teams looking to brainstorm or catch up on projects, allowing team members to stay up to date, no matter where they are in the world.

Train yourself to work independently

Whether you struggle to segregate time for a rest, or you find yourself too easily distracted, there’s an app for that. In-browser extensions like StayFocusd can block time-wasting websites for a predetermined amount of time, allowing you to get the most out of your allocated work hours. On the other hand, apps like TimeOut for Mac or Break Timer for Chrome browser will lock your PC up after certain intervals, inviting you to take a stroll, clear your head, or make a brew.

Create your own working day - Don’t be ‘always on’

Flexible working inevitably invites the ‘always on’ aspect of work, which allows team members to check in and report on progress or get help whenever and wherever they are. Team leaders and managers should lead by example here, trusting their team with projects and ensuring that they’re valuing their free time just as much as their input during working hours1.

Sometimes it’s hard to ever truly switch off, so when a late-night email comes through our impulse is to handle it there and then. Our tip - take a break and think whether this isn’t something you could prioritise as part of tomorrow morning’s tasks. Don’t allow it to consume your entire evening!

Invest In Tech

Give yourself the best chance to succeed. It’s no good enabling flexible working only to find you’re gazing at frozen screens and loading donuts. After all, how can you take advantage of the latest in productivity-enhancing software if you can’t access it reliably? Businesses can effectively support flexible working ambitions by investing in the tech they provide their workforce, from up to date mobile handsets to superfast fibre broadband for home offices.

Conclusion

Flexible working poses an exciting opportunity for businesses looking to unlock their potential in an increasingly digital world. Step into the new decade with a positive vision of the world of work: offering efficient ways of working, better team communication, and attracting the best talent to help you grow.

Sources

[1] CPID - Flexible Working Business Case https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/flexible-working-business-case_tcm18-52768.pdf

[2] ILO - Working anytime, anywhere: The effect on the world of work http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_544138.pdf

[3] Institute of Leadership & Management - What can leaders do to help their staff switch off from work? https://www.institutelm.com/resourceLibrary/what-can-leaders-do-to-help-their-staff-switch-off-from-work.html

 
 

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