8 Ways to Support Workplace Flexibility
Your workplace is ready to be more agile and flexible but how do you support workplace flexibility?
What is Workplace Flexibility?
Workplace flexibility means providing employees the ability to work wherever is best for them on any given day at any given time. That may be by providing a different mix of workspaces such as shared desks, permanent seat assignments, touchdown space, open seating, closed-door workspaces, collaboration space, etc. As well as offering different work arrangements such as telework or alternative work schedules.
The benefits of a flexible workplace are endless. Providing workers with choice and flexibility leads to happier, more productive employees and better physical and mental wellness. But flexible workplaces only work if you know what your company needs, how to implement it and how to provide the right support through training.
8 Steps to Support Workplace Flexibility
Know what your company needs.
Step one is knowing how your space is being used. How many desks and conference rooms are used during the average workday? Are employees using common spaces to collaborate? When implementing a flexible workplace, you’ll want to collect data to answer these questions and use it to make future workplace decisions. This can be done through what we call a Utilization Study.
Know what your employees need.
Next, it’s absolutely vital to learn about what your employees want and need. There are six types of modern workers and we can bet your company has a mix of all of them.
That means your workplace needs collaborative spaces, quiet rooms, closed-door offices, the ability to have employees work from home or co-working spaces, etc. You can use the utilization data to see the most used workspaces and conference rooms. But to really get down to what your employees want, ask them! Survey them to understand how they need and want the space to work for them.
Communicate what workplace flexibility means for your company and its employees.
Providing a flexible workplace is highly beneficial to your employees but only if they know about it! With every new seating option, telework ability, supporting technology and more, make sure it’s communicated company-wide.
Train, Train, Train!
After communication comes training. Your employees know all of their flexible work options but how do they implement them? How do they use the workplace reservation software to reserve the conference room they desire? Or secure that office space for the day?
With each change, supporting documents must follow. That way the changes you are making to better the workplace are being implemented and used just as you wanted them to be. Teaching employees how to make their days more productive and efficient, in turn, makes the office more productive and efficient.
[Related Webinar: Workplace Change Management: The People Centric Approach]
You know what your company and employees need.
You’re communicating and training everyone in the office on these changes.
Now, some additional tools to help you support workplace flexibility.
Find the right mix of space and remote work.
It’s important to find the right mix of shared desks, permanent seats, touchdown space, collaboration spaces and remote work options for your workforce and culture.
For the Nomad, a permanent seat is ideal. But the Opportunist prefers more collaborative spaces. While the House Hermit wants that work from home option.
Again, knowing your employees and making sure you have the right spaces for the right people at the right time makes for a productive workplace and happy employees.
Implement a reliable room scheduling software.
Having a room scheduling software allows employees to work in the best place for their productivity and creativity every day. The system should:
a. be easy to use.
b. be integrated with tools that are familiar to employees so that it’s easier to use. For example, an Exchange Integration lets employees use Outlook to schedule a meeting and reserve a room all using that familiar interface.
c. connect to smart technologies for maximum workplace efficiency, like Intel Unite and Smart Buildings.
d. work with presence detection solutions already in place, such as badge swipes, for utilization accuracy.
Encourage team-building activities throughout the office.
Flexible working could mean less face-to-face time for some employees. Therefore, offering fun, morale-boosting activities can encourage those employees to come into the office, catch up with their coworkers and continue to build collaboration and cohesiveness throughout the company.
Ensure managers measure employees by their productivity and not their “butts in seats.”
You might see an employee in their office every day, from 9 to 5, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re being productive.
You may see an employee in the office once a week but that doesn’t mean they are slacking off.
Often managers feel like they can’t keep an eye on their employees without seeing them in their seats. But in reality, many employees are often more productive when they have the flexibility to work when and where they want.
So, make sure your managers are on board to support workplace flexibility. Managers can find other ways to stay connected to their employees, such as chat and daily check-ins. And they should be sure employees feel they have access to them whenever they need.
These 8 steps should keep you on the right track when supporting workplace flexibility.
Choice and freedom are the future of the business world. At AgilQuest, it’s our mission to help you with your flexible workplace management.
Let us know how your supporting workplace flexibility. And what additional steps you’ve taken to get there.
Learn more about AgilQuest’s workspace and meeting room reservation software with these helpful resources: