New technologies are reshaping businesses and fundamentally altering how and where their employees work. In this new landscape, offering flexible working solutions such as telecommuting and other forms of remote access have become critical. This allows businesses to not only operate in a more agile way, but also attract top talent.
Flexible workplaces are in high demand
Recent research from PowWowNow1, a remote working technology provider, found that 35% of people would prefer flexible working opportunities over a pay raise. And over 80% say flexible working options would make a job more attractive to them.
That makes having flexible working policies a huge advantage for businesses, but they might not realise the full extent of the benefits.
A flexible workplace policy can be a safety net
From the COVID-19 crisis to the threat of terror attacks or natural catastrophes, it’s impossible for businesses to predict what’s around the corner. As we’ve seen with COVID-19, it can be difficult to prepare for these crises, but flexible working policies have already demonstrated their worth as a safety net.
Businesses that already have capacity to continue operating with employees in multiple locations are more likely to weather the storm of a crisis with minimal disruption. Put simply, flexible working arrangements are a ‘dry run’ for more serious situations where working remotely isn’t an innovative benefit, but a necessity.
Of course, not every business can operate remotely, and certain sectors like hospitality and retail face particular challenges. However, for the businesses that can make it work, investing in flexibility makes a lot of sense.
With the right processes and technologies in place, businesses can worry less about simply staying operational, and focus more on making sure they remain as efficient and effective as they normally would be.
What goes into a successful flexible workplace policy?
If flexibility and adaptability in the workplace come with so many potential benefits, the question becomes: how can businesses make it work?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer and the right flexible workplace policy for a particular business will depend on a range of factors including geographic location, reliance on technology, number of staff, and much more.
It’s worth keeping in mind that with remote work, businesses have much less control over the environments their employees are operating in, which can raise all sorts of liabilities. For example, if an employee injures themselves or somebody else in their house while they’re on the clock, who is responsible?
Therefore, some essential components to making remote work arrangements successful are: clear employee communications and training; investing in cyber security and a risk management program; and having the right insurance.
1PowWowNow, Flexible Working in 2019, powwownow.co.uk/smarter-working/flexible-working-in-2019/