Garden office: 6 advantages of flexible working

Flexible working is now possible for the majority of offices in the UK. A garden office is the perfect way to set up an office at home without the distractions that can come from working remotely. Improve productivity with an garden office and these six tips on how to implement effective flexible working practices in your workplace.

The options employees can now ask include part-time working, flexi-time and job sharing, compressed hours and working from home or remotely. Many businesses will be seriously concerned how they can offer this, whilst ensuring business as usual and employees are still as productive.

Below are some tips on how implementing flexible working practices can make the workplace a more productive place:

Embrace the ‘cloud’

Cloud computing offers the ability for employees to work remotely. Workers no longer need to be office bound and with the right technology in place including VoIP, Skype, ‘Go to Meeting’ people can work seamlessly from any location. Cloud computing can actually increase workforce productivity by up to 20%, according to research from Pixmania, “staff work two hours more per day if working on mobile devices”. One good option is moving to a privately managed cloud computing service, such as a Desktop as a Service, (DaaS), often referred to as a Hosted Desktop Service.

Don’t clock watch

Remember employees have lives outside work, and those lives will overlap sometimes. Try to be flexible if a team member has to leave early for a home emergency or take a day off because his child is sick. Face-time is important, but so are results, and being flexible will keep your employees happy and loyal. Remember, that trust is vital too, companies need to demonstrate they fully trust their staff to ensure flexible working is successful.

Communicate

Have an open discussion about how flexibility affects people’s responsibilities and how they can be contacted when they are away from the workplace. Keep customers and managers informed of progress and seek feedback on the improvements you and your team have achieved.

Flexibility needs to be two-way

Not every proposed flexible arrangement will be right for the business, as the needs of customers and the business have to be prioritised; the arrangements needs to work for everyone involved.

Make flexible working acceptable

Be prepared for changes in legislation and have your policies on flexible working ready. Explain clearly to employees how flexible working will operate and ensure mangers lead by example too.

Encourage remote working

Remote working becomes truly enabled through cloud based ‘Hosted Desktop’ solutions as they allow employees to log on to to all their business applications from any location. It also offers businesses the flexibility to move locations easily, create satellite offices and hold meetings anywhere.

Flexibility in the workplace involves give-and-take. The responsibility for making flexible working must be shared by employees and managers. Together assess opportunities and challenges in any proposed arrangement openly. When there is good communication and a well-understood culture in a team, flexible working hours can benefit a business by increasing staff retention, decreasing absenteeism and achieving greater productivity through increased job satisfaction.

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