If you have opened Instagram or Facebook today you probably caught at least one picture of someone lounging poolside with the hashtag #workfromanywhere.
Working remotely is more popular and desirable than ever, but is it a slippery slope into days filled with takeout containers, naps, and little work to show?
Today, you’re going to learn three reasons whyworkplace flexibilitysupercharges productivity, and one case where you should avoid it at all cost.
Allowing remote work among your employees and flexible scheduling is a smart, tactful idea about 90% of the time, but of course, there is always that 10%.
First, let’s talk about theupsideof working remotely, then we’ll visit the less-common case where it’sagoodideato keep your employees on a strict schedule.
Three reasons flexibility in the workplace can superchargeoutput:
1. Remove a long commute, and receive hours of uninterrupted productivity.
When people work from home (or wherever, really), they can easily start workat 6amand get in three hours of focused work before most people sit down at their desks.
This comes from personal experience – I get the most done early in the morning before my inbox starts filling up, or anyone is calling or online for that matter.
Simply put, when you don’t have to commute and you’re working from a quiet place, you get sh*t done.
Big bonus? It’s higher quality work because there is no one stopping by your desk every 15 minutes to ask questions orchit-chat.
Multiple studies have shown that divided attention leads to errors and poor-quality work.
2. When you’re flexible, it shows your employees that you care and have respect for their lives as a whole,not just their work life.
They can pursue interests outside of work, which makes them much more likely to be super focused whenit’s time to be productive.
Mid-day exercise class?Go for it! Sweat sessions boost focus and happiness. After all, you have been working for 6 hours before Noon even arrives and are probablyreadyto move those legs of yours.
Need to raceover to the schoolto pick up your kids? Totally cool and may very well be the highlight of your day.
Want to take a trip to the Hamptons mid-week? Go for it! Just bring your laptop and get your work done.
Showing your employees you respect and trust them boosts loyalty. If they’re not chained to their desk, they’re far more likelyto stay with you.
By being flexible and allowing people to work from home and/ortravel, it showsthat you as an employer know that workisn’t the only thing that defines them, and that you want them to live a full, enriched life.
Take the time to understand what motivates and is fulfills your people. Many studies have even shown that people prefer workplace flexibilitytoa super-high salary.
That’s not to say one has to be traded for the other, but it shows how important lifestyle is to most modern employees – especiallymillennials, whonow make up well over 50% of the workforce. There’s a whole world to see, and the younger segment ofemployeesare particularly keen on experiencingit.
3. If you’re sensitive to your employees’ needs, they are going towantto exceed your expectations – and will feel a stronger sense of obligation to deliver for you.
It’s really that simple.
If you go theextramile for them by working with HR to give them a flexible schedule, they’re going to go above and beyond for you,whether it means pulling an all-nighter to meet a deadline or sending a few emails over the weekend to put out a fire.
It’s clear that flexibility in the workplace boosts productivity, but thereisone case where it’s a bad idea: When employees lack focus and time management skills.
Someone might be great in the office setting, but then have no idea how to structure their time when no one is watching them.Make sure those you offer flexibility to have the proven track record with you and that it’s clear good habits have been built. Often times it may take a year or longer to build that trust.
Good employees appreciate flexibility and would never take advantage of it, but there are always the less motivated individuals who can’t deliver in this type of environment.
If you offer the option of working remotely and notice a decrease in productivity, it’s probably a bad idea to allow them to workfrom home.
I would recommend putting them back on a regular office schedule for at least a month, and then revisit remote work and see if their time management skills have improved.
You might even provide resources to your employees on how to structure their time and stay productive when working remotely. Keep testing the waters and allowing schedule flexibility wherever possible.
Do you currently offer your employees remote options? What struggles do you have in this area? Have you noticed an increase or decrease in productivity when team members work from home?