Business no longer takes place between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, companies now run 24 hours a day, seven days a week and in some cases 365 days a year. To compete in whatever industry you’re in, you need to be doing the same, which means you need to be more flexible. You need to be able to adapt to new environments, new challenges and new ways of doing things because the business world is changing rapidly thanks to technology. So what gives you the most flexibility, and how can you be more flexible?
Whether you’re a business owner yourself or you work for someone else, working flexible hours is vital today. If you are the boss, then you need to be able to adapt to this for your staff as it’s becoming an increasingly popular work benefit that people are seeking when looking for a job or more and more people are requesting in their current positions. If you can’t offer it, then they’ll move on to somewhere that does.
If you work for a company that doesn’t offer flexible working hours as part of your job and you need them, then speak to your boss and find out what they can provide you with. You have to remember though that this flexibility works both ways and while your employer can be flexible with what’s going on in your life, you in return need to be able to work when the business needs you too even if it’s out of hours.
Communication is key to people being able to work remotely and flexibly so again; if you are the boss, then you need to make sure that you have the best possible tools for your teams to be able to communicate and do their jobs. Whether this is project management software that they can all see the tasks they’re working on, work phones with Contract SIM only deals to make life easier for you or an internal chat system so that everyone can communicate no matter where they are. If you are the employer, then you need to speak up and let your boss know what you need to be able to do your job in the best way possible. If this is software or technology, help them and find out what the best options are for your company, find out prices and deals. This will show initiative, show you’re serious and mean you’re more likely to get what you want.
Be Flexible With Flexibility
Most people think of flexible hours and working from home, but there’s a lot more to making a flexible workplace. Think about secondments, career breaks and volunteering opportunities; this will make you a far more attractive employer to work for if you take these needs and wants into account. People will be loyal to them if you’re good to them and understand the people need breaks; they want to explore and travel and volunteer and shouldn’t have to lose a job they love and are good at because of this. If you are the employee then again, speak out and tell your employer what it is you want, they either want to lose you, or they don’t, but any career break or secondment will only be good for your career and experience so they’d be silly not to offer you the chance to come back.
Know Your Team
Get to know what it is that everyone who you work with likes to do. Whether it’s a hobby or something that they’re interested in. No one wants to feel that their job takes over their life completely, so you need to encourage people’s interests by talking about them. Then when they do need a day off for a convention, or their favorite band is in town, they won’t be afraid to ask, and you will be more supportive knowing how much it means to them. If you’re the employee, implement this culture and get to know everyone and what they like.
Not just long ones off work to go and find yourself but have a break room in your office to encourage people to step away from their desks and have some time to themselves or with their colleagues having a chat about non-work related topics. When you’re talking to your colleagues or employees during break times, don’t talk about work. Talk about personal stuff, be flexible on times as well. If you are like this, then people are more likely to work harder.