Working flexible hours has become the new ‘normal’ as it respects the fact that employees have other roles and responsibilities outside of work.
Accepting this detail, the question is how to ensure that within a small team there is ongoing trust, valued communication and engagement so that your organisation can continue delivering high quality client service utilising flexible hours.
Staff working core hours together is a great idea as face-to-face communication is paramount and if you use technology effectively, clients will be able to contact workers wherever their location.
Drawing on my experience with other workplaces you have used this practice, success is dependent on establishing protocols that set-in place expectations that everyone can agree. This includes expectations around answering or returning client calls within agreed time frames, proactively contacting clients to ensure deliverables are being attended to, and agreed check-ins with the office to update developments. Often, the companies successful at achieving high quality communication are those that have a combination of informal and formal arrangements.
These expectations also ensure that workers are not feeling technology-stress – 46% of Australian workers feel that they have to be “always on” and unable to completely shut off from work.
Initially, this may seem a little onerous as your staff get used to the new arrangements. These expectations will need to be reviewed from time to time to ensure you and your staff are happy with what has been put into place.
Flexible working hours has the potential to provide new opportunities to enhance productivity and value for both staff and employers. The success is to find the balance for all.