How to Adapt to Flexible Work Arrangements Successfully
Adapting to the Flexible Work Arrangement takes a lot of planning and preparation. It’s also essential to understand that it varies depending on the industry. The nature of the work for employees, and the organization’s decision.
Many companies have already adapted to flexi-work setups, for instance, in countries like the US (3.3%) and the UK (4.1%). But, Singapore has been slow to adapt to having only 0.3%. In the case of flexi-time, Singapore also ranked at the bottom.
The impact brought about by the pandemic changed everything we do today. To embrace the changes, big and competitive companies have invested in planning and researching before offering flexible work arrangements.
Benefits of Adapting to FWA
The benefits of offering flexible work setups to your employees have a lot to do with retaining and attracting talent. In fact, it also boosts productivity by giving your employees a work-life balance and flexibility while working. Here is a look at the benefits for both employers and employees:
- Increased employee productivity
- Tapping a wider pool
- Retention and recruitment
- Work-life balance
- Health and wellness
- Job commitment and satisfaction
- Phased retirement or re-entry into the workforce
- It boosts creativity and productivity.
Flexi-Time and Flexi-Place
Flexi-time and Flexi-place are two similar things that constitute flexible working arrangements. The former demonstrates the flexibility in time when working. And where many employees would enjoy the work-life balance. Examples of flexi-time are: part-time work, job-sharing, flexi-hours (start/end times), compressed workweek, and temporary work.
The latter, on the other hand, is of the place. Examples are home-based, satellite offices, neighboring work centers, etc. Combining these two would result in a positive outcome for companies trying to cope with the demands of their employees.
How to adapt to FWA in five simple steps
Adapting to flexible work arrangements can be a tedious process at first, but it will be worth it in the end. There are also many things to consider. Such as agreements between the employers and employees, assessments of the current situation, and the nature of work.
Here is a definitive guide on how to adapt to flexible work arrangements successfully in Singapore:
1. Obtaining Information
This is the first step towards successfully adapting to flexible work arrangements. Gather information on your employees that is relevant to the implementation of the new work setup.
Companies can have this data from the following:
- Data from current employee files
- Surveys of employees’ assessment needs
- Focus groups and management interviews
Consequently, they can also use the information collected to determine employees’ concerns. And how the new flexible work arrangements can help solve the problem.
2. Establishing Objectives
This step is about determining objectives and the end goals of adapting to flexible work arrangements. It could be short-term and long-term goals as it goes through the transition. More importantly, every stakeholder and staff member must take part in the decision-making process.
Moreover, companies should align benefits to the best interests to make setting goals relevant after implementing the flexible work setup.
3. Implementation Stages
This step is crucial as it includes much internal work for all the employees transitioning to flexible work arrangements. To set clear implementation stages for the company, it should cover the following stages:
- Consensus Agreement and Support
- Identification of the Task Force
- Communication of the Initiative
- Creation of Written Guidelines and Policies
- Training for Managers
Additionally, this should also emphasize the use of a comprehensive proposal in transitioning into the FWA. That said, it can either be approved or not, depending on the assessment after the trial period. Or it can be with some changes needed to incorporate in the next phase. Another important thing to highlight is the creation of the written guidelines and policies that will be used throughout the implementation stages.
This should contain the following:
- Define the option for flexible work (covers both flexi-time and flexi-place).
- Describe who would be a good fit for each choice.
- Describe how to prepare a proposal that will be approved (or provide a standard form or format).
- Answer any queries employees might have about the choices presented.
4. Review and Assessment
After all the stages of implementation have been initiated, data must be collected regarding the transition into the flexible work arrangements. It may come from surveys, employee and manager interviews, checklists, observations, and other significant sources of information relevant to the evaluation process.
This is a quick guide on what to look for during the review and evaluation process regarding the effectiveness of the work setup:
- The overall level of absenteeism
- Retention rate
- Recruitment (work and family policies aimed at attracting more talent)
- Morale and Commitment
- Productivity KPIs that are highly measurable
Information from the evaluation stage should be used to improve weak points in the flexible work arrangements. That said, tere might be changes to the schedules, department’s workflow, and adjustments to employees who have been working in the flexible work set up during the transition period.
In implementing the flexible work arrangement, there might be employees whose nature of job may not be applicable to the new setup. Thus, it’s important to note to the employees that FWA is not an entitlement but rather an evaluated item-by-item process to serve the best interests of the organization and its needs.
Implementing a flexible work arrangement takes a lot of effort, but it will be beneficial in the long run in competing with other companies worldwide.
Deskimo is the flexible work platform of choice that helps businesses navigate the new future of work. With us, you and your business can adapt to flexible work, and pay-as-you-go across dozens of spaces in Singapore and Hong Kong.
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