How to make flexible working, work for your organisation and your team.
From being a united team and working in an office environment to a sudden transformation of employees wanting a more hybrid, flexible work from home model, can be quite daunting to any organisation. As a leader managing a team, this often creates anxiety and fear of showing your weaknesses as you try to figure out the ‘new normal’. With so many questions, how to keep up team morale, how to keep communication flowing and every team member on the same page, how to keep relationships and ensure that ‘the door is always open’.
Maintaining team morale is a factor organisation’s need to take seriously and invest time into. Keeping your company as a team whilst remote working is top priority, otherwise this could be a factor in a company's down fall. Employees may start feeling overwhelmed with emotions and insecurities, for example, not feeling supported by their peers, creating uncertainty of who they can turn to for assistance. Employees may feel excluded and lost when the communication starts to fall away and become more stressed than before. With the rise of technology, remote working has now become somewhat of a norm, with many organisations now offering this to employees, making for a happier work life balance. With technology now very much in a supporting role to allow for remote working to succeed, organisations are now implementing the tools and support that is needed to make this an option and a success.
Determining whether this is the right model for your organisation
Team managers should look at the organisation and its members to determine whether employees have the potential or not to work remotely. Remember, not all staff members will grab the opportunity. If remote working is the route your organisation has chosen, be sure that all staff members are offered the opportunity to decide.
Communication is key
Time and planning will be required to go in beforehand for this to work in an organisation. Employer’s need to ensure that all employees are on the same page. Holding meetings once a week and recording the meetings so that all employees can go back and re-cap, will narrow the gap between the remote working members, encouraging employees to ask questions during the meeting and promoting discussions of concerns will keep up morale and team relationships.
Trust is a large priority in remote working, employers must trust employees that the work will be done. Simply, by employers and employees discussing their concerns, and putting deadlines and targets in place, with weekly catchups, can help resolve and eliminate expectations.
Regularly reviewing flexible working policies and procedures will determine whether employees are benefitting from flexible working.