5 Ways Employers Can Create Flexible Work Environments

October is National Work and Family Month. During this time, businesses across the U.S. are asked to promote healthier and more flexible work environments.

Today, both our families and workforces come in all shapes and sizes. Employers need to provide flexible work environments for workers of all ages.

Many older adults need to work longer or return to the workforce due to changes in their family makeup. Whether individuals are feeling the financial strain from a divorce or taking on raising grandchildren, the number of older workers in America is growing.

This October, we are helping employers find ways to promote work-life balance at their businesses. Here are five tips to foster a flexible workplace for your employees.

5 Ways to create a flexible work environment

Employers large and small can benefit from providing an inclusive and flexible workplace. Try these five tips for businesses that want to provide flexible workplaces.

1. Provide the right tools

More work hours does not necessarily equal more productivity. Research shows that the average American worker only provides about three hours of productiveness per day, no matter how long they sit in an office. Other time is spent broken up between activities such as talking to co-workers or scrolling news feeds.

While three out of eight hours might seem like laziness, these breaks actually make the workday more manageable. They encourage employees to get back to work and be more productive.

As an employer, it’s your job to ensure that workers have the right tools to get the job done during the hours they are most productive. This includes making sure they have the appropriate hardware and software to work remotely or flexible schedules. Investing in these items will be well worth it in the long run.

2. Talk to your team

Creating a flexible work environment means making sure all of your employees are treated equally and fairly. To achieve this, consider talking to your team about what flexible work options work best for their lifestyles.

While you may not be able to please everyone, working the majority of your workforce’s wishes into your plan for a flexible workplace can help boost morale and make your efforts more effective.

Hold a meeting with your team to discuss different flexible options and provide time for employees to offer feedback. Because some team members may not feel comfortable expressing their opinions in an open forum, you may also want to send out an anonymous survey.

3. Take new ideas for a test drive

Some flexible work options may seem like a great fit, but when put into effect they do not turn out as planned. When introducing new procedures at your business, consider taking them for a trial run before implementing them permanently.

Be sure to communicate that the initiatives are temporary for the time being to your team so that everyone is on the same page. Set a specific date range for the trial period. When the final date approaches, you can decide whether the new policy was beneficial and take the next steps.

4. Provide training

Flexible work schedules may be new to many of your employees. Before initiating new policies, hold a training session and lay out your expectations. Be sure that all of your team members understand their part.

After implementing your flexible work environment policy, continue to provide training to employees. Regular training sessions are not only good reminders to help workers consistently be productive. They also encourage professional growth that helps strengthen your team and business.

5. Check in routinely

As we mentioned above, flexible work schedules may be new to your team. Reach out periodically to make sure your workforce is comfortable and productive with the changes.

That said, consider limiting meetings, which can be a big waste of time and productivity. When you need to communicate with employees, you might opt for emails, texts, or other messenger applications that create fewer interruptions in the workday than a blocked off meeting time.

Are you looking for productive employees for your business? Consider teaming up with the Senior Community Service Employment Program to find trained and motivated individuals. Connect with VANTAGE Aging today to find qualified candidates in 38 Ohio counties.

*The information in this article is intended solely to provide general information on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. This article should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, medical, or other competent advisors.

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it.

Share this blog article