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How to Create a Flexible Work Environment

How to Create a Flexible Work Environment

The Society of Human Resource Management is celebrating Flexible Work Arrangement Week this week (May 7-May 13).  Over the past several years, the modern work environment has changed.  With new technology allowing greater accessibility when away from the office, it can be hard to balance when one’s work day starts and ends.  On the other hand, this also allows businesses an opportunity to provide flexible work arrangements for their employees, giving them more control over how, when, and where work gets done. 

In celebration of Flexible Work Week, we would like to provide some suggestions on how you can make your office a more flexible place.

  1. Provide flexibility in how an individual works

    Very few people enjoy being micromanaged. Managers should give enough guidance and instruction to their team so they know the goals that need to be accomplished.  That said, managers should also offer the freedom and independence to accomplish these tasks. The best way for an individual to develop is to let them create their own path. Maybe it’s not perfect the first time around, but the learning process helps them grow. Providing weekly or biweekly check-ins so employees can ask questions or managers can help course correct allows employees to have a sense of ownership in their duties while still providing support when needed.

  1. Provide flexibility in where an individual works

    Greene Resources’ office environment allows for individuals to have several options to change where they work on a given work day, including drop-in offices that can be reserved as needed, couches and lounge chairs for less structured meetings or brainstorming sessions, a laptop bar, and even a balcony for employees who want to work outside.  While not every business allows for this type of work environment, providing the opportunity to work remotely or from home on an as-needed basis is a great way to give employees the flexibility they need. Keep in mind that getting results is what you want them to achieve regardless of where the work gets done. Demonstrating trust in your team to accomplish goals outside of supervision can also produce the side effect of happier and more productive employees. 

  1. Provide flexibility in when an individual works

    Most service-based businesses require set business hours so their clients and customers know when they can be reached.  That said, set business hours don’t require an absolute guideline for when each employee is in the office.  Allowing employees to adjust their start/end times on an ad hoc or indefinite basis is a simple act that can provide much-needed relief for employees with long commutes, child care needs, or other personal schedules.  Offering flexible hours during the summer is a great incentive that allows employees to step away from the office to enjoy the season, but requires them to complete their weekly goals and tasks first.

At Greene Resources, we believe it’s important for our employees to feel like they have the flexibility they need to have a productive and successful work day, but also that they have the time to experience life away from the office.  By creating an environment of flexibility, employees can feel confident that their manager and company has their best interest at heart.  By valuing your people above all else, you can make a lasting impact in the careers, businesses, and lives of those you serve.

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