home one Friday a month. Identify your measurements, track the
results and decide after three months if this is advantageous.
During this period of research and development, you can work
out the kinks, test employee reactions and find the solution that
is right for your company culture. As you receive feedback from
management, employees and clients, think of your flexible work-place
as a fluid solution, one that is able to adapt to the changing
needs of your workplace.
As you move forward with a newly established flexibility plan,
hire professionals who have an entrepreneurial spirit and passion
for excellence. Self-discipline is essential, but it has to be motivat-ed.
Employees should be aware of what will be expected of them
and they should have an inner drive to succeed that will be reflect-ed
in the work they produce.
The best way to know if a flexible work environment will work
for your company is to put it into practice – and measure the re-sults.
Track employee productivity and create a metric system that
allows progress and work to be monitored. Flexible workplaces
should reduce the cost of doing business and increase workplace
satisfaction, but work quality should not suffer. Create clear ex-pectations
and hold employees responsible for meeting those
Each industry and office will have its own way to measure suc-cess.
Suggested metrics include:
■■ Individual performance: Each employee is expected to meet
his/her goals in a timely manner and to communicate if these
goals are not going to be met.
■■ Group productivity: Every effort put forth by employees is a
group result, and triumphs are shared and celebrated.
■■ Company profits: A properly executed flexible workplace is
one that will also increase profits. Employees’ happiness should
reflect the company’s bottom line.
DON’T LOSE YOUR CULTURE
You don’t build company culture like an office structure or imple-ment
it like a new accounting system. Culture is intangible – it’s
meant to be felt. Think of culture as a plant – a vine that grows
and changes all the time. In many cases, the flexibility offered by
a company can be vital to the fabric of its culture. In other cases,
flexibility is just an added benefit of an already rich corporate cul-ture.
Whichever the case may be, don’t lose sight of the importance
of building an environment in which employees can thrive and ab-sorb
themselves in their work.
Establish a workplace that inspires employees and makes them
feel connected, no matter how remotely they are located. Organize
team “water cooler” events such as parties, recaps of family vaca-tions
and hold regular all-hands-on-deck meetings, even if they
need to take place in a virtual meeting room.
DECIDE IF FLEXIBILITY FITS
A flexible workplace may not be right for every business, or every
employee, but if it is a policy that would benefit your office, these
tips should help ease the transition and make for a happy office.
As HR professionals, the opportunity exists to increase prof-itability
in a way that also keeps a hold on your company’s top
talent. The workplace is migrating to a “Me Inc. World” mentali-ty,
which means A-players pick who they want to work for – not
the other way around. With more companies offering flexible
workplace options, job seekers are taking notice, and it may be the
deciding factor when faced with two positions. In an ever-evolving
economy, it is important to stay ahead of the trends and offering a
flexible workplace may just be the way to do it in your industry. ■
Kim Shepherd is the CEO of Decision Toolbox.
DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE
IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING AN
ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH EMPLOYEES
CAN THRIVE AND ABSORB
THEMSELVES IN THEIR WORK.
44 ❚ OCTOBER 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL