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8 keys to implementing flexible work schedules

7/7/2021

8 keys to implementing flexible work schedules

You have likely heard that many companies are instituting more flexible scheduling policies for their employees these days and wondered whether that kind of change can work for you. The good news is that there are a lot of businesses that can get a benefit from such a change, but you do have to manage the shift effectively to ensure there are no hiccups.

The following steps should help you do just that:

1) Make remote work permanent for those who want it

First and foremost, if your company found that remote-work policies during the pandemic worked well for all involved, there's no reason that shouldn't be a permanent option for your employees, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Often, you won't even have to change much; just maintain the same expectations you've had in place for more than a year.

2) Let people come in at off hours

Another way to shake things up is to let people come in and leave a little earlier or later than usual, as this helps them avoid sitting in traffic, the Society for Human Resource Management said. Giving employees the option to work from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., or any other configuration, probably won't affect your operations that much.

3) Allow workers to change their work weeks

Likewise, if someone wants to work four 10-hour days on a permanent basis, or just temporarily, you can let them do so, the Society for Human Resource Management further advised. That way, they're still hitting all their goals, but also getting the flexibility they may need on occasion.

4) Put everything in writing

With all of the above having been said, it's important to codify what you will and won't allow, according to Spica. When you do, there's no ambiguity and everyone can continue to meet expectations as they get in line with your new offerings.

5) Test new allowances before fully implementing them

You might also benefit from conducting a trial run of any changes you make so you can see what works and what doesn't, Spica added. Then, you can proceed with greater confidence that every change you made is going to truly set you up for success.

6) Make sure everyone is on the same page

When employees do opt to change their schedules, they should have to let all relevant parties know about the shift so no one is expecting something different, Spica further noted. Something as simple as an email to team members or a calendar reminder may be all that's required.

7) Train managers to handle disparate schedules

These changes will likely be a challenge for your managers to juggle, especially early on, but a little training will help, according to Business News Daily. Some classes around time and team management should give them the tools they need to keep a steady hand on the wheel during the transition period.

8) Keep in mind that some employees will have to be reined in

Of course, not all employees are going to handle this change effectively and you might have to implement tighter rules for those who abuse these new privileges, Business News Daily recommended. Often, a warning — and then some follow-up discipline if behaviors don't change — should suffice.

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