June 29, 2022

How to achieve a flexible workplace for higher productivity

The workplace has changed significantly since the pandemic. Gone are the days when employees across the country are tied to the office desk and working 9-5. Flexible, hybrid workplaces with a good work-life balance are a priority for employees.

In fact, a recent study from Swinburne Edge and Deloitte Australia has found that 78% of workers who can work remotely want to work hybrid or from home with 93% of workers surveyed saying their physical, emotional, and mental well-being is just as important as pay.

Flexibility doesn’t just have to be about the location of work but can also be in the hours.

As an employer in a tough labour market, it is becoming increasingly important to retain and attract great staff. Flexibility doesn’t mean productivity has to suffer in the process. According to the Gartner 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey, 43% of those surveyed found flexible working hours lead to more productivity. Flexibility can also reduce burnout, improve staff retention, and improve work culture.

A flexible workplace can be achieved in multiple ways including:

Working hours

If there is flexibility in when the work can be done, talk to the employee about what times are suitable for them. Perhaps they need to leave early on a certain afternoon to take their kids to soccer practice but can make up the hours in the morning.

This can also include flexibility to adjust working hours for unusual circumstances (e.g., medical appointments) or setting meetings with pre-set times and outside those hours are flexible.

Location

The pandemic saw a shift in many roles being worked remotely. Now two years on, many workers are returning to the office. For those roles that can work remotely, offering freedom on where employees can work can be a great way to support flexibility in the workplace.

It doesn’t have to be 100% remote work either. Allowing employees to work a couple of days from home each week could be a great balance and still allow for workplaces to build teamwork on the days they work in the office.  

Flexibility for everyone

Flexibility shouldn’t just be for working parents. Although many of us know the struggle with making it all work with kids, providing flexibility for all staff regardless of if they have kids allows them more opportunities to achieve their desired work-life balance and have time for other commitments.

Job sharing

If a role requires a full-time employee, why not consider having two employees share the responsibilities in part-time working contracts. Not only could it create flexibility but could be a great recruitment tool for attracting talent who would be great for the role but can only work part-time.

At the end of the day, flexibility needs to be a priority for employers.

The traditional workplace continues to change particularly with advancements in technology allowing for a more connected workplace environment. Supporting workplace flexibility is something all employers need to consider with current and future staff to help foster and maintain great workplace culture and retain staff.

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