Sustainability is Key with Flexible working
Top tips for adopting flexible working to improve your bottom line
Flexible working is undeniably rising in popularity. In fact, the term was trending on Twitter just last week. At Ten2Two we specialise in flexible working and recruitment, giving our clients access to a talent pool of highly skilled professionals across Kent and Bromley.
Last month, we launched our Flexible and Proud campaign and hosted a webinar featuring Nell Sanders, Head of People at Sleeping Giant Media. They are a Digital Marketing Agency based in Kent who have successfully adopted flexible working across their organisation. It was great to hear from Nell, who shared valuable insights into the benefits and challenges they experienced through flexible working.
To watch a recording of the webinar and hear what Nell and I had to say, visit www.flexisense.biz. Alternatively, you can download our Flexible and Proud report to read more examples of how businesses have successfully adopted flexible working.
Following the webinar, we’ve put together our:
Top tips for adopting flexible working to improve your bottom line:
- Invest time in creating a mindset shift through the whole team
Successfully incorporating flexible working across an organisation can require a huge mindset shift across the whole team. This takes time but ensuring that everyone is brought into the idea from the beginning is crucial to its sustainability. Your team needs to be fully on board and aware of your expectations of them. To hear how Sleeping Giant Media overcame this with their unlimited holiday initiative, listen from 22:07 in the webinar recording.
- Whatever industry you’re in – make sure you have the basic tech in place
You don’t need to be in the tech or media industry to have the technology required to master flexible working. In the digital age we’re in, every office and home have a phone and a computer, and these are all the physical tools you need. That said, it can be beneficial to invest in a voice-over-internet telephone system or a quality video call software to ensure communication lines are as open and effective as possible.
- Decide how you are going to advertise a flexible role
Despite the country being at its lowest unemployment level for over 30 years, in Kent, there are still thousands of unfilled full-time jobs. In fact, only 1/7 of these jobs are advertised as flexible. It’s important for organisations to decide whether they want to advertise their roles as flexible and there are benefits of doing so or not.
For example, at Sleeping Giant Media they rarely advertise their roles as flexible because they focus on identifying those with a passion for the role and industry first and foremost. For them, conversations about flexible working arrive at the interview stage.
On the other hand, however, some candidates are unlikely to apply for a position that does not advertise flexible working if this is one of their requirements, even if they would otherwise be well suited to the role.
- The right recruitment process is needed to ensure there is a trusting relationship with new staff.
A key theme within flexible working is the element of trust between colleagues. When taking on a new employee that will work flexibly, it can seem like a risk to ensure you hire someone who will work effectively in this way. Therefore, investing in your recruitment process is an important step to ensure you can confidently choose the right candidate. To hear how Sleeping Giant Media recruit flexibly, including their ‘recruitment days’, listen from 14:53 in the webinar recording.
- Ensure you have processes in place to protect a colleague’s mental health
With growing consideration for mental health in the workplace, it’s crucial that tactics are incorporated into flexible working to support these initiatives. Studies show that flexible working can be hugely beneficial for employee mental health. However, it must be noted that reducing the amount of face-to-face conversations can make it more difficult for colleagues to notice when someone is not feeling themselves. Sleeping Giant Media have daily video catch ups for those who work remotely, but it’s crucial to incorporate a trust culture into your organisation to ensure colleagues are open and honest.
- Don’t be afraid to be honest with your clients about adopting flexible working
Sleeping Giant Media have a global team and are honest with their clients about who they’re talking to and where they’re based. While understandably some organisations may fear that clients become reluctant to work with those who operate remotely, SGM found this is not the case. Clients commonly accept that the same availability issues occur if you’re in the office or at home wherever this may be – whether you’re making a cup of tea or have nipped to the loo!
- Think about the sustainability of the initiative for your business
Sustainability must be a key component in the decision-making process surrounding flexible working. Research and preparation are key, and you must consider how changes will affect your business in the long run. It’s no good rushing in and offering unlimited holiday, remote working and flexible hours to every colleague if this is going to be detrimental to client relationships in the future. Take the time to consider what will realistically work for you, as Nell says: “It’s bad not putting in place anything at all, but it’s even worse to make a promise that you can’t keep”.
If you’re interested in adopting flexible working within your business and discovering the benefits it can bring, visit https://www.ten2two.org/location/kent-and-bromley/ to find out more and get in touch.