Work is getting agile, are you? (Guest blog)
How are you coping with the changes in work and workplaces?
Whether it is incorporating flex spaces in your office or managing a hybrid in-house and remote-based workforce, a lot goes into creating a flexible workplace environment that is functional for a specific organization and its employees.
Be it an office move, expansion or a redesign, it takes organizational self-reflection to make sure the right people, resources, and change management tactics are used during the transition.
For a successful transition to flexible working, ensure two important things:
Prioritise people and culture
Company culture is the thread connecting everyone within the company and should be sewn through each initiative. The values and diversity of the company should permeate irrespective of location and that calls for clear and targeted goals. Ensure that your organisation’s composition matches the company beliefs.
Transparency is the key.
The involvement of workers upstream will allow them to take ownership of the change rather than being subjected to it. When the C-Suite agrees to train managers in telecommuting employee management and program leaders aid their fellow colleagues in flex work arrangements to maintain productivity, you can expect a successful flex transition.
Go granular for effective change management
In 2013, under the leadership of CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! called back their entire flexible workforce when it was discovered that employees were not signing into the work platform for long periods of time. Despite great digital communication systems, collaboration between teams often suffers when everyone is physically dispersed. Many people also tend to feel isolated or neglected. That’s why it is crucial to institute instant messengers like Slack for solid and consistent internal communication. Besides, a scheduled check-in is also useful in monitoring remote work.
How would the employees know if you’re introducing a new tech or creating a new space? A sensible thing to do would be to devise a flexible work etiquette policy that informs the employees about the changes introduced in the system or the new resources available to them and lays down all guidelines in black and white. Companies and governments exhibited extraordinary flexibility and adaptability in responding to the pandemic with purpose and innovation, but it is important that policymakers support additional training and education programs for workers and retool the workforce in ways that point to a brighter future of work. Walmart, Amazon, and IBM are already doing that.
Any flexible work arrangement can only be successful if team leaders are equipped to effectively manage flex workers. If you are planning to go remote, redesign your hiring system and craft interview questions that address the challenges of working in isolation that let you determine who would be the best fit for your company.
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