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6 Tips For Employing Flexible Workers

On31/ 08 /17

Flexible working is becoming increasingly common in the UK and worldwide, as employees make use of their right to request flexible hours.

Flexible positions can offer employers a variety of benefits; from accessing a wider talent pool to improving staff retention and increasing productivity. Despite this, issues can occur without certain measures in place. 

The following tips will help your company to get the most out of flexible working, whilst avoiding the pitfalls.

1. Research HR, legal and security issues

There are a range of potential HR, legal and security issues surrounding flexible working. Make sure you investigate these fully before agreeing to any requests.

You will need to consider factors such as the IT infrastructure and how it will stand up to the demands of users logging in from multiple locations. Your work contracts will also need to be altered to reflect the new arrangement, requiring additional time and resource.

2. Define expectations clearly

Workers need to know exactly what is expected of them including any non-negotiable commitments e.g. do they have to be in the office within core hours or perhaps there’s a compulsory team meeting each week?

Ambiguity can lead to issues so it’s best to lay down terms in writing. Equally, ensure accurate records are kept of all employees working hours to avoid payroll disputes.

3. Keep staff involved

Staff members should be included in team meetings and events, whether they are working from the office or remotely. This will help them to feel part of the team and improve collaboration.

Try to avoid social isolation by encouraging participation in meetings by phone or video conferencing. Equally, schedule regular check-ins and make use of online tools that facilitate team working. 

4. Ensure they receive support and training

Employees on flexible contracts should be offered the same opportunities for support and training as other staff. 

HR should keep an open channel of communication with each employee and a comprehensive record of all training. This will help to keep staff motivated and offer them the tools to keep improving and progressing in their role.

5. Consider the effects on other staff

If a team member is offered flexible working, it may make other staff feel unsettled. 
Often, other staff will not see the work that is being done out of view and can feel frustrated. This can easily upset the team dynamic. 

If this happens, it’s crucial to keep communicating with the entire team and listen to any concerns. It should always be emphasised that each team member is expected to make his or her contribution. 

6. Establish a probation period

When a flexible contract is agreed, a probation period should always be given. This will enable the employer and employee to review the success of the arrangement and make adjustments where necessary.

Flexible contracts may not work for every employee or organisation and this will protect both parties if the arrangement isn’t effective.

Here at Bucks and Berks, we have extensive experience in recruiting for full-time, part-time and flexible positions. Why not drop the team a line to discuss your latest role?
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