De grenzen van flexibiliteit bepalen om werknemers sterker te maken

In the blink of an eye, flexibility has gone from a necessity to the default way of doing business around the world. That’s good news for employers and employees: the freedom of flexitime and remote work improves employee happiness and productivity while opening doors to a diverse workforce. 

Companies that adopt a flexible mindset will be more attractive to top candidates and more likely to keep their workforce engaged. However, to reap the benefits of flexibility, a few ground rules are needed. In the next normal, instilling transparency and prioritising employee wellbeing will be key to making flexibility a success. 

Flexible work makes smart business sense

Employers and employees have good reasons to embrace flexibility. In a survey conducted by Page Personnel, more than 44% of employees said their productivity improved thanks to different schedules or home office arrangements. In addition, nearly a third reported an increase in motivation and job satisfaction. 

When companies give employees more autonomy over when and where they work, that translates into greater trust, higher productivity and better employee retention. Employees with flexitime are less likely to take sick days to accommodate unforseen circumstances or personal commitments. 

The rules of flexibility

Research by Page Personnel shows that before the crisis, less than half (43%) of employees in the Netherlands had the freedom to work from home regularly. Nearly a quarter (24%) of the respondents indicated that before Covid. there was no work-from-home scheme at all. Since then, a growing number of employers and employees have experienced the benefits of remote work, so it’s no surprise that flexible arrangements are here to stay.

Transparent and consistent guidelines are essential to align expectations and prevent misunderstandings. HR departments should set basic rules regarding flexibility of time, location and communication. If employees can set their own schedules, what are the limits? 

Prioritising wellbeing 2.0

Digital exhaustion can lead to employee burnout, undoing the benefits of flexible work in the first place. To prevent this, employers should invite workers to use flexibility to support wellbeing. For example, workers might schedule breaks for exercise or mindfulness, or adapt working hours to their own circadian rhythms. Managers can even build small hacks into the working day, such as swapping video calls for audio-only meetings that encourage people to walk as they talk. 

Do you want more insights and tips in how to remain successful in The Next Normal? Download our e-book!

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