During the recent pandemic, a lot of people have been asked to work from home, and this has given rise to the idea of flexible working. Many companies have decided to continue offering this as a way of incentivizing and retaining staff and keeping costs down. This concept may be new to you as a company, but here is a guide to making flexible shifts work for you.
Get Senior Management Buy-In
Firstly, you need to get senior management to buy into the idea of flexible shifts. A lot of work can be achieved by workers who have the flexibility to work the hours they want from the comfort of their own homes. This work doesn’t even need to be carried out by company employees. For general work, specialisms such as IT, and tasks that have fluctuating demand, using an app such as Shiftsmart will allow senior managers to cut costs and still make sure that the right people are in the right positions when necessary.
Train your manager in the art of managing people who are working remotely or may not be working the same shifts they are. This may be different from the way they have managed people in the past, and they may need some time to get used to the changes.
Find out what shift pattern will work best for your staff. This may depend on the individual staff members and their external commitments, but it might be that if the work is not time-specific, they can offer you the schedule that works best for you and you may be able to accommodate this. If you need to have staff around at times offering an early and a late shift and even a split shift could work well for many people. Go with the opinion of the majority if you need to work set hours, this way you are more likely to retain good staff.
Think about where your staff need to be based to work for you. An office environment has become more outdated in recent times but many people still like the idea of day-to-day communication. However, offering the flexibility to work from home means that you have a bigger pool of talented staff to work with as you don’t need to be area-specific. If you have a lot of staff who work remotely, this can cut your overheads down considerably as you won’t need to use as much power; you could even downsize to a smaller office space or rent out part of your existing one.
Set Clear Guidelines
Be clear about what you expect workers to do and how well and how quickly you expect it done. This is especially important if you are using the gig economy to hire workers, as all companies work slightly differently and they will need a clear understanding of your way of working.
Follow these guidelines if you want to set up permanent flexible working patterns for your workers and you will find the process will run a lot more smoothly.