The world's workers are increasingly insisting on one benefit: the ability to work when and where they want. A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review shows that 59% of employees see flexibility in the workplace as empowering and consider it even more significant than salary and other benefits. Similarly, Oyster’s Employee Expectations Report found that employees highly value flexibility in when and where they work.
If you're a business leader or People professional looking to introduce a flexible working strategy, you're making a savvy move. Offering this kind of coveted benefit can help you attract and retain top talent. But what is flexible work, exactly—and how can you implement a flexible working strategy for distributed teams?
Why companies should consider adopting flexible work
A flexible work strategy is all about prioritizing employees' needs instead of insisting they follow rigid rules put in place by the employer. It can take many forms, from allowing remote work to letting employees work compressed hours.
By adopting flexible work strategies, employers and employees alike can benefit. With greater flexibility, companies can remain competitive in the hiring marketplace. You won't alienate potential employees who prioritize flexibility.
Additionally, flexible work can open up company hiring in terms of geography. If you don't require employees to come to the office, you can hire people across the country or around the globe.
Meanwhile, employees are empowered by flexible working arrangements. Being able to work from home or tailor their own schedule can improve work-life balance, boosting employee satisfaction. Better work-life balance also leaves workers more time to take care of themselves, like cooking healthy meals and working out. Healthier workers feel better and may perform better as a result.
For example, it's been shown that by investing in workplace wellness programs, companies can reduce absenteeism. Long story short: prioritizing your employees' mental and physical well-being is well worth it—and a flexible working strategy is one way to do just that.
5 ideas for more flexible working
No two flexible working arrangements are identical, as a look at the companies implementing remote work shows. Indeed, there are many ways to implement flexible working. Here are some ideas to inspire you, plus some tools that can help make it easier.
The most significant step you can take to promote flexibility for your company is to embrace a distributed workforce. Instead of requiring employees to be on-site, take a remote-first approach. To encourage the shift, start moving toward a results-driven assessment system. Instead of tracking the hours worked, look at their productivity and measure outputs. Also, if you go remote-first, make sure you have a pay and benefits system that functions across locations—like Oyster.
2. Home office support
Make your remote-first policy realistic by ensuring employees have a home office setup that serves their needs. You can make financial contributions for home office furniture, technology, and tools. Examples range from software to ergonomic keyboards and standing desks. You might also consider making contributions toward home-working costs like heating and electricity, a common approach to hybrid work.
3. Asynchronous working schedules
Location-based work often involves time-specific work schedules. People are expected to be in the same place at the same time. However, this isn’t always necessary. Time-agnostic work policies allow people to work when they're most productive instead of strictly 9-to-5. As with the remote-first approach, assessing productivity based on results instead of hours can help ease this transition.
4. Unlimited vacation
Instead of capping vacation days, try an unlimited PTO policy. This is especially useful for project-based or seasonal work, where employees may be working extra hours one week and fewer the following week. They can take breaks when they need to (and when it makes sense). Just make sure you have a clear policy on how to request time off, as well as a process to do so.
5. Job sharing programs
In a job share arrangement, two professionals split up a single role, dividing up the same tasks and responsibilities. For example, one worker may cover duties Monday and Wednesday, while another may cover the same duties on Tuesday and Thursday. Again, having a tool that clearly outlines responsibilities and who’s on duty is essential to ensuring transparency and communication.
How international hiring is ideal for flexible workplaces
With a remote-first, flexible working strategy, your company opens the door to international hiring, giving you the ability to collaborate with people all over the globe. To simplify your international team management, you can rely on a solution like Oyster.
Oyster is a global employment platform that helps you streamline payroll and benefits in more than 180 countries. Plus, you can pay workers in over 120 currencies.
With Oyster, you can take care of your workers—and they can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing their needs will be met. The result? A culture of trust and flexibility that benefits both sides.
Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.
Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.