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Flexible Work Is Coming — Here’s How to Manage It

As technology has enabled employees to get more done from their smartphones and laptops, the idea that they should have more flexibility with their jobs has increased as well. According to The Atlantic, the number of Americans who work from home at least one day per week rose by 4.2 million between 1997 and 2010. That jump represents more than two percent of the entire US workforce

This shift isn’t only happening in the US, however. In the UK, flexible work is now a part of England’s labor laws, allowing all employees with 26 weeks or more service to request flexible working. What is flexible work exactly? It is simply a varied work schedule, and depending on where your employer is located can mean different things, including working from home, flex-time, and job sharing.

Even more, flexible work is a big deal to Millennials, who are now starting to have families and will soon be the majority of the world’s workforce. According to a new study by Bentley University, 77 percent of Millennials say that flexible work hours would make the workplace more productive. Putting their money where their mouth is, they’re also more willing to give up a promotion or take a pay cut to get more flexible work. Here is how you can manage flexible work at your company:

1. Remove the “flexible work stigma.”

A big reason why employees are reticent to ask for more flexible work arrangements is because they fear they’ll get passed up for promotions or be labeled as less committed to the company because they are in the office less. Make flexible work a proactive program that management initiates instead of placing the responsibility on your employees.

2. Initiate employee rotations for Millennial employees.

Millennials desire to gain a wide array of experiences to become well-rounded employees instead of doing the same job over and over again. General Electric’s rotation program is well known for allowing their young employees to experience various departments in their company to gain skills and discover what they are truly passionate about within the organization.

3. Provide a flexible channel for communication

Managers shouldn’t be afraid of flexible working as it is very easy to remain in control of it. Mobile enterprise messengers like Beekeeper help managers reach every employee on any platform regardless of the place they’re working from. Mobile communication is a native environment for millennials and bringing company communication up to speed helps keep employees loyal and result-oriented.

4. Have clear policies on hours of work and time tracking

To remain fair and transparent, companies need to be clear on their expectations for the working hours of all their employees. For example, employees that work from home one day a week should still be expected to work and be available during normal office hours. An easy way to transparently monitor this is through time tracking software.

If your company is concerned about providing your employees more flexibility, research by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom found that working remotely increases employee productivity, overall work hours, and employee retention. And although their reputation precedes them, Millennials aren’t asking for the moon, according to Karyn Twaronite, a Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer at EY. She told the Harvard Business Review, “Research shows people aren’t actually asking for all that much. They want flexible start and ending times and telecommuting for 1-2 days per week. And these options improve employee engagement and productivity.” Showing trust in your employees by giving them increased flexibility can create productivity gains and increased engagement for years to come.

Are you interested in the secure solution for reaching and engaging everyone in your organization regardless of the place they’re working from? Get in touch with us to find out more about Beekeeper – communication tool for teams, and we’ll be more than happy to show you how you can engage your employees on any device and get real-time analytics.

Get a free demo of Beekeeper to learn how we can help communications within your organization.