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Generation Flex: why should you adopt it in your small business

With the increase in demand on people’s personal time, being able to balance work and personal time in a  productive way has become a large drawcard for many employees when looking for a place to work. But is it possible to do this if you are a small business? Let’s look at the requirements for having more flexibility in your business.

If you want to adopt flexibility into your business you need to ensure you have mutual respect and trust with your employees. This respect and trust should be something which you have looked out for during the hiring process and you have employed people who share your values. If this is so it should not be too difficult to incorporate flexibility into your business as everyone is work for the best of the business.

The next aspect to consider is how you will measure productivity in your business. Many businesses have measured productivity by the number of hours an employee spends behind a desk or in the office. But with flexibility, the commodity in a business moves from time to results. You need to ensure you set clear and concise goals for your team to achieve in a set time. By setting goals, they will know what is expected from them and they should be able to manage their time to be able to complete the tasks on time.

Next, you need to consider how you will communicate with your team. If you adopt a remote working environment it is critical that you have great lines of communication in place as well as a reliable and secure place to keep your documents for your business. It is important to research the applications and read the terms and conditions before adopting them into your process. You should also make sure your employees have the basic knowledge of how to be secure on the internet.

The final consideration is the industry in which you work. There are some industries where a flexible work schedule is not possible because you need a certain amount of people to always be present. The example industries are manufacturing, education, retail and essential services.

Here are two strategies to consider when moving to a more flexible work environment:

1. Unlimited holiday time:
this gives your employees the freedom to work and go on holiday as they wish. The caveat is that you trust them to get the job done and they respect you and business enough to do the job without abusing the privilege of unlimited holiday time.

2. The ROWE system:
This is a results-only work environment (ROWE). In this environment, you are not concerned about how much time is spent in the office but rather whether your employees are getting the results you require from them. By achieving the results the business will be successful.

By allowing your employees to be responsible for how and when they perform their duties, you create an environment where people can work optimally. Furthermore, the stress which is associated with being at work at set times will be minimised and your staff may produce exceptional results for you as they are work to the best of their abilities and at a time when they are the most productive.

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