Flexible work models are becoming the norm, but that doesn’t mean that making the switch in a productive way is easy. Here’s how you can adjust your business to improve employee productivity without breaking the system.
The Compressed Workweek
In a compressed workweek, the standard 40-hour week is compressed to fit into a fewer number of days. This means that employees work longer hours on some days in exchange for an additional day off (usually Friday or Monday, or both). The most common format of a compressed schedule is where employees work four, 10 hour days. Alternatively, you could opt for what’s called the 5-4-9 schedule, where employees work for nine hours per day, and during the second week, take one day off.
Compressed workweeks are often beneficial for companies with heavy workloads throughout the year and is most popular in industries such as retail, utilities, mining, healthcare services, and manufacturing. Benefits include improved work-life balance due to additional days off, reduced time and costs spent on commuting, extended workplace operation hours, and more staff on hand during high workload periods.
Much popularized during the COVID pandemic, remote work has been around for a while. It’s essentially when an employee performs work assignments outside of the traditional workplace setting, most likely at home. This is enabled through telecommuting tools such as e-mail, phone, video, and chat apps. The rapid growth of technology has made this means of work more accessible than ever. In most cases, telecommuting is most suited for knowledge workers to perform their tasks outside the traditional workplace as opposed to jobs that involve the physical operation of special equipment, such as machinery and vehicles.
While some companies may choose to implement a fully remote policy, others may opt for a hybrid model which involves a blended workforce. The latter comprises of employees working remotely as well as at home according to an agreed-upon schedule. According to Gallup, telecommuting provides the greatest levels of productivity with a schedule that centers around two to three days of working on-site and the rest spent working remotely.
School schedules, care obligations, and transport conditions are important factors that influence an employees’ ability to get work done. For those where remote working isn’t the only solution, companies can offer flextime. This lets employees customize their own schedules and is especially beneficial for companies whose team members have very different sets of personal commitments and responsibilities.
Flexitime lets employees choose when they start and complete their workday as well as when they take their break. All of these are usually set according to agreed-upon limits that have been discussed with their line manager to maintain fairness and transparency across all departments. For companies that implement flextime and need to manage employees on so many different schedules, one of the best practices you can observe to minimize disruption is to set core office hours where everyone must either be onsite or online.
A job-sharing arrangement is a great way to help decrease absenteeism and promote better continuity and work coverage. It works by splitting the tasks and assignments of a single full-time role to be managed by a team of two part-time individuals. For example, from Mondays to Wednesday afternoons, Person A will come into the office and work in a position, then on Wednesday afternoons to Fridays, Person B will come in and resume the responsibilities that Person A managed earlier in the week.
In the United States, job sharing is a fairly common working model. It is both observed and promoted by the federal government as an opportunity to provide flexible employment for workers who need to juggle their professional lives with family obligations, are pursuing an education, or simply want to lighten their workload without having to quit a role entirely
Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)
Developed by Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler as a workplace strategy for American consumer electronics retailer Best Buy, ROWE is a management strategy that favors performance over presence. Employees are evaluated by their quality of work and results instead of the number of hours worked or their attendance.
The ROWE system prides itself on creating a culture of opportunity and shifts the focus to employee autonomy and creating an accountability-first mindset. Employers are set up for success, equipped with the tools and training they need to work wherever and whenever they want. Those employees who are able to deliver results are the ones who succeed.
For more exploration into building productive and happy teams, connect with the recruiters at Williams Industrial today.