Long before the events of 2020, flexible scheduling was on the rise. However, the cascading effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have amplified and accelerated employers’ focus on doing so effectively. Forward-thinking companies understand it is imperative that they alleviate stress to enhance productivity to support their business operations.
Here are four ways to help employers adjust to flexible scheduling strategies that work to everyone’s benefit
1. Work-Life Balance Is Important No Matter Where Employers Work
Whether employees report to the office or work remotely, work-life balance is still important. No one wants to feel chained to their laptop or smartphone at all hours of the day.
Employers and employees need to define the workday and adhere to it to maintain a distinction between employees’ personal and professional lives to prevent stress and burnout. Just because employees perform up to 100 percent of their work from home does not mean their stress reduces. In fact, Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Online warns that employers should remain vigilant about respecting employees’ personal boundaries during the pandemic for telecommuters.
2. Workers Need to Feel a Sense of Autonomy
Micromanagement rarely works well in office environments, so they are unlikely to work with telecommuting employees. Placing trust in employees’ abilities and dedication is more important than ever.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) advises supervisors to only manage and coach employees on what they need to deliver, how they need to deliver it, and the deadline to deliver it. If the company has hired correctly, the employee will use his or her skills and resources to make it happen. The manager or supervisor is there to support the employee, answer questions, coordinate and provide additional resources as needed, especially in new circumstances like working remotely.
3. Optimize the Mobile Workforce
Before the coronavirus pandemic, flexible scheduling was more of an option for employers to provide employees. They could approach remote working more leisurely, asking the IT team to set up capabilities for a few employees whose jobs could be done anywhere. Today, employers are discovering that many jobs can be performed anywhere, especially if they optimize their mobile workforce to allow everyone to work as efficiently as possible with the best resources.
A workforce mobilization solution can help employers respect employees’ lives and support their professional efforts by providing software and technology to:
- Help keep leadership and employees in contact
- Allow for flexible scheduling
- Solve staffing and workload-balance issues
4. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
While employees do not want micromanagement, they want and need ready support. Employers might set up a dedicated help desk to accept pressing questions and filter them appropriately to help remote employees proceed with fast-approaching deadlines or high-priority clients with minimal disruption in the event of technical or personal challenges.
Adjust to Flexible Scheduling With the Right Approach and Appropriate Tools
Even in such challenging times as everyone has faced in 2020, it is possible to thrive. The long-increasing focus on flexible scheduling served to prepare employers and employees for the urgent need for remote working strategies throughout the year. With good communication, workforce mobilization solutions, trust in employees, and respecting work-life balance, the transition to remote working can run smoothly.
- How to Improve Efficiency and Productivity in Remote Teams
- Sage Advice on How to Keep Remote Workers Engaged and Productive