How to Bring Flexibility & Freedom Your Office for High Productivity
by Robert McNicholas on August, 03 2016
What do workers want? Freedom, work-life balance, and job flexibility. But is this possible for your business? Let’s find out.
Attitudes toward how Americans should work are changing. It’s no longer a fortunate few people who can set their own hours outside the 9-to-5 rush; flex time is becoming more common. And working from home is becoming more popular too; just check out these stats from around the web:
- 50% of jobs can be done remotely, at least part of the time.
- 80% of U.S. workers are open to telecommuting.
- Work-at-home schedules among employees have grown by 103% since 2005. Source: Global Workplace Analytics
- 74% of people searching for a flexible job have telecommuted in the past.
- 79% have a college degree.
- 74% seek a better work-life balance.
- 54% feel they are more productive. Source: FlexJobs.com
- 78% of employees value the chance to work remotely.
- 70% would leave their job for one that offered telework options and greater flexibility. Source: Softchoice
If, at this point, you’re thinking yeah, that sounds great — and impossible! — then take heart. Flexible and remote work options are not the privilege of the biggest companies or the exclusive domain of the high-tech startup. With the right tools, you can offer your employees the flexibility they crave.
How to Bring Flexibility and Freedom to Your Office
The first and foremost problem with working flexibly can be in our own minds. While millennials as a group are rejecting the 9-to-5 philosophy, others may have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea that you can be just as productive working from 11 to 7 — or even 12 to 5!
Sorry to break it to you, but the 40-hour workweek is pretty close to being busted. It's becoming quite evident that more hours don't mean more production. Don’t believe me? Consider that in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway, the average workweek clocks in at about 29 to 33 hours. Even Germany, that powerhouse of productivity, works a relatively modest 35 hours per week. (Incidentally, another poll puts the full-time American workweek at closer to 47 hours!)
So, rather than focusing on hours worked, can you shift to a task-completed perspective? For example, giving each sales person x amount of calls to make in a week, rather than expecting them to be at work for 40 hours? It’s something to consider.
Software That Makes Remote and Flexible Work Possible
Your next challenge in adopting a flexible workweek is communication. With mobile internet and smartphones, staying connected usually presents no problems. And while you certainly can use texts, calls, and emails to keep things on track, it’s not the most efficient solution. Using apps like Trello, Basecamp, and Google Hangouts can keep communication flowing freely. And using Google Calendar and other apps can make sure everyone in the company is aware of what’s going on — even when they are away from the office.
And what about collaboration? We like Google Apps — particularly Google Docs and other productivity programs — because they can be edited by multiple users in real time. Collaboration doesn’t get much easier than that, or more cost-effective either.
If you’d like advice on setting up the software that can make your team more flexible and distributed, talk to Techsperts. We’d be happy to give you personalized advice on what products will best meet your needs.
Featured image credit: 123rf.com