Have you noticed that the world of work is changing, and it’s changing fast?
And yet some of our ideas about how we work, when we work, and where we work remain outdated and are dragging the chain of change badly.
For many years we have connected the idea of flexible work with women balancing families, but this is no longer the case. Many men are seeking far greater work-life fit, elderly workers are seeking to graduate a transition into retirements, and there are more and more individuals seeking flexibility to allow them to pursue other aspects of their lives. And if someone offered you more flexibility and autonomy in how you worked tomorrow I have a feeling it’s an offer you’d take up!
Whilst flexibility is keenly desire at work the reality is that many managers and leaders are wary, and even fearful of the ramifications if they were to provide more flexibility. How do you fill the gap? How do you monitor what staff are doing? How do you know that they are actually working?
What is needed is to create a culture of flexibility. The following are three key strategies to help you to embrace and manage the world of flexible work practices:
- Change your mindset - Full-time work does not necessarily mean full-time productive. According to the Families and Work Institute, 97% of HR professionals say that productivity is the same or better with flexible work.
- Set non-negotiable’s - Clear expectations are essential to remove confusion and misinterpretation. Within my business I have clear non-negotiable’s which means that everyone is clear about what tasks are the most important to be completed.
- Get skilled in having the crucial conversations - The problem with distance in any relationship is that assumptions can fester unless concerns are aired openly. Managers and individuals who are skilled in having the tough conversations are able to deal with issues quickly and move on.
The reality is the future of the workforce is flexible, it’s time to be equipped to manage and lead in this changing environment.