COVID-19 has changed not only our everyday lives but also how we work and run businesses. Fewer people are spending time in offices. In order to keep the bills paid, a lot of businesses have to get flexible, particularly in remote work. This involves adjusting to different work schedules and even working with freelancers. Here are some tips to ensure you have a more flexible workplace for your business, even if you’re currently working remotely at this time:
Have all the tools you need for workplace telecommuting
Working flexibly, to most, means remote working from wherever you want. In the age of the pandemic, that’s certainly what most business owners are looking at. To ensure that it goes well, you need everyone to be using the same tools to communicate, whether it be an instant messaging service, video conferencing software, or a workplace collaboration app. Provide them all with the tech they need, even if you have to pay to ensure consistent and high-quality communication.
Work around a core
When it comes to flexible times, it’s important to allow members of the team, employed or freelancer, to work at times that best suit them. However, there should be a set of core working hours, or times of day, that they should be available for communication, collaboration, and to make sure that any feedback you have can be heard. A workforce app can help you track everyone’s working habits and find the time that works to get everyone in the same digital place. Flexibility doesn’t mean everyone works under their own rules, there still needs to be some centralization.
Whip the managers into shape
A lot of business owners fear that giving employees too much freedom will lead to them slacking off. However, it’s usually the managers who are the biggest blockers to success in flexible working. Simply put, some of your managers might already be established with a certain status quo. Some may even have an unhealthy response to losing a degree of control over workers, which flexible working demands. Do what you can to prepare them for the change, make sure they’re on-board with it and whip them into shape if they have trouble acclimating. You may find that some people are management material in a standard office setting, but not in a flexible workplace.
Be clear in your goals
Freelancers should be given the freedom to work in whatever way is most productive to them. What should not be flexible, however, is the result returns at the end of the day, week or month. Set goals for your freelancers as you would for your employees. Layout not only the eventual end result but steps they can take to get there and allow them to follow those steps in their own way.
Once you and your team have a taste of flexibility, you might get hooked. We are expecting to see a lot more businesses running remotely long after this self-isolation period is done.
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