Navigating The Path To Flexible Working

by Grace Cosgrove
December 3, 2019
Navigating The Path To Flexible Working

Flexible working. For many, it’s a bit of a buzzword. For others, it’s a viable way of empowering their employees and giving them what they need to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Sure, there’s still a fair amount of resistance out there – especially from small and medium businesses – but having a flexible working plan in place can help companies retain and attract the best talent out there.

But getting there means having the right strategy and setup – one which has a huge bearing on IT services.

Here’s what companies should consider as they embrace flexible working.

What It Is – And What It Isn’t

Flexible working can be many different things. It can be as simple as cutting staff some slack when they answer emails after office hours – letting them come in later if they’ve been up late the night before. At the other end of the spectrum, it can be allowing employees to work from their chosen location – wherever they are in the world.

It’s not just for those with children, shift workers, semi-retired people, or digital nomads – everyone needs some degree of flexibility. It’s also increasingly important in our ‘always-on’ culture – in which clients and customers expect companies to be responsive most of the time.

However, making flexible working a reality takes commitment and trust. It means giving staff the freedom needed to work on their own terms; to use their own devices; their phones, tablets, and laptops.

Putting Flexibility To Work

To thrive and remain productive – in and outside of the office – employees need the right tools. They need access to their company email account and applications.

But that’s not all: they also need to be in constant contact with clients and colleagues; so that they have all of the information and services they need to do the job they’re paid to do.

However, even though employees may be reliable, many businesses have security concerns where flexible working’s concerned. What if devices get lost? What if our server’s hacked?

With modern cloud-based workplace solutions, companies can ensure that employees get the services they need. Platforms like OneDrive, Office 365, and Microsoft Teams offer employees a fast, simple, and user-friendly set of communication and collaboration tools.

Not only that, but security features like Single Sign On and 2 Factor Authentication protect devices – so that only those with the right permissions can gain access to the information they need; on a need-to-know basis.

The Benefits Of Flexible Working

While the benefits of flexible working make perfect sense from an employee perspective, what are the positives for companies?

So many. Studies show sizeable increases in everything from productivity and employee engagement, to job satisfaction and staff retention. In addition, given the increasingly transient nature of the workforce, portfolio careers, side gigs, and freelancers – offering flexible working can help companies attract talented individuals who don’t want a full-time, 9-to-5 job.

All things considered, flexible working is beneficial for both employees and organisations. But adopting this work style does mean adopting a mindset shift, followed by a drive to ensure the right technology is in place.

It does take some consideration, but with the right support your business can be up and running in no time – leaving you to question: ‘Why didn’t we do this sooner?’.

Looking at ways to kickstart flexible working for your business? Need a steer on the IT services required? Enterprise Solutions can help. Talk to us today!

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