Wed. Feb 8th, 2023
4 strategies for enabling a culture of workforce flexibility

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The proliferation of distant work through the international pandemic proved that working from house is a viable office mannequin with little draw back. But, companies proceed to encourage and even require their workers to return to the workplace — usually to their very own detriment. For example, PwC’s Pulse Survey: Cautious to Confident discovered that 64% of executives agree that their firm wants as many individuals again on-site as doable. 

As distant work continues to high workers’ want lists, it’s clear that many enterprise leaders must do a greater job of embracing a tradition of flexibility of their organizations to retain and entice employees.

Staff proceed to demand office flexibility

In accordance with our Global Workforce Survey, at this time’s employees crave (and want) selection in how they work. Almost two-thirds say they like a mixture of in-person and distant work. This flexibility sits on the core of job satisfaction. Solely 45% of in-person workers say they’re happy with their job, in comparison with 50% of hybrid workers and 63% of fully-remote employees.

Sustaining connectivity and tradition is essential, however inflexibility dangers breeding resentment. Whereas 26% of individuals in PwC’s survey would favor full-time distant work, solely 18% mentioned their employer is prone to undertake that mannequin. Solely 11% of workers choose full-time in-person work, however 18% say their employer is prone to require them to enter the workplace daily.

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Workforce agility is vital to competing in a extremely fluid and aggressive market. Organizations, subsequently, must each reply to worker expectations and put their employees ready to carry out at a excessive stage. In any other case, they could face excessive turnover, low productiveness and a lack of enterprise agility.

A office technique that advantages the group and workers

It’s clear that the majority employers nonetheless haven’t perfected a brand new method of working within the post-pandemic world, a method that addresses advantages for each workers and the corporate. Main organizations, nonetheless, are embracing a tradition of flexibility within the office by implementing insurance policies and instruments that meet workers the place they’re. Success on this new hybrid mannequin requires partaking workers and giving them a way of personalization and possession in how they work.

Listed here are 4 methods for enterprise leaders to allow a tradition of workforce flexibility that advantages the group and workers.

1. Provide customized flexibility

Office flexibility isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Folks have totally different wants, workstyles and preferences for a way they work, and personalization helps put individuals in the perfect place to succeed. Giving employees the ability to work in a method that most accurately fits them offers a way of accountability and incentive to carry out.

Some individuals might must work from 7 a.m. to three p.m. to deal with little one care or different private obligations. Others might really feel that they’d carry out higher in a four-day workweek. Some might decide to surrender some wage for extra trip or private days. Flexibility permits individuals to work how they need and when they need in probably the most optimum method.

In the meantime, don’t overlook the ability of connectivity and training that occurs in particular person. Some individuals merely don’t know what they’re lacking. Making it actual for them by bringing groups collectively repeatedly and utilizing connectivity as an in-person incentive will help make the worth clear.

2. Lay out the principles prematurely

No matter individuals’s particular person wants and preferences, it’s as much as managers and enterprise leaders to find out whether or not it’s within the group’s finest pursuits to let individuals personalize how they work. This requires open communication channels amongst managers, workers and HR in addition to formal plans round in-person, distant and hybrid working.

Folks must know what the job expectations are no matter how they select to work, and managers must know the place the boundaries lie. Clear guidelines of engagement should be laid out, formalized and communicated to stakeholders, together with clear accountabilities.

3. Empower totally different work kinds with superior instruments for collaboration and connectivity

A versatile workforce is barely as efficient as its toolset. Wherever they work, workers should be armed with instruments that enable them to successfully hook up with company assets and collaborate with colleagues, clients and companions.

We have to transcend video conferencing to provide individuals interactive instruments equivalent to whiteboarding, real-time polling and the flexibility to interrupt into groups. Distant workers want office-like connectivity, so they’re able to work how they count on with out latency or bandwidth points. And individuals who work within the workplace shouldn’t be overlooked both. An entire rethinking of how workplaces and shared areas are laid out can entice individuals to return into the workplace extra and be extra productive. 

4. Encourage progress and profession development

Each worker ought to really feel challenged of their function and need to develop their profession with the corporate. Upskilling and alternatives for development are nice methods to retain and entice workers. Investing in individuals via studying and improvement applications enhanced by recognition, badging and incentives creates the kind of work atmosphere individuals can get enthusiastic about.

Excessive performers crave alternatives that problem and excite them. It’s only a matter of giving them alternatives to excel and reveal what they will do.

Put individuals ready to excel

Hybrid work fashions should not going away. Retaining and attracting productive employees requires flexibility in how they work and empathy from enterprise leaders relating to what the “new regular” appears like for workers. Enterprise leaders have a chance to step up and encourage workforce flexibility — working with workers to provide them the alternatives, processes and instruments they should do their jobs effectively and ship the traditional win-win.

Joe Atkinson is chief merchandise and expertise officer at PwC US

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