Best practices for flexible working

By Charlotte Boffey, above, UK Head of Services, Employment Hero

Flexible working is more than laptops and Zoom calls. At its essence, it is the ability to have some control over when, where and how work gets done. This flexibility can manifest in many ways, from reduced working hours to choosing your own start and finish times.

The UK government announced last week that it had plans to make flexible working the default and that employees could request flexible working arrangements from the moment they start a job. It also said about 1.5 million low-paid workers would benefit from a new law ensuring they are free to boost their income by taking on a second job if they wished.

In light of this new legislation, below are some tips for the best ways to manage flexible working for your employees.

  1. Get the technology right

Technology is great, but only when it works. If you are going to have a flexible workplace then you need to have the tools to make it work. Choose one platform, and stick with it.

  1. Communication is key for a flexible workplace

With flexible working conditions, over-communication is absolutely critical. At Employment Hero, we use our marketing Slack channel so that remote workers can let the team know when they are starting and ending their day. We also use the team management tool, Asana, to manage our projects and workflows. This means as a team, we’re able to quickly and easily assign tasks to each other and understand what each other is working on from anywhere in the world.

  1. Set clear objectives in your flexible workplace

Objectives are critical to moving forward as a business and are used to set clear expectations of team goals. When measuring the output of remote work, you shouldn’t worry about where your team works from as long as you see progress towards your team objectives. Focusing on objectives allows your team to work when and where they are most productive, and it forms a framework for having conversations when things fall behind.

  1. Check-ins are sacred

Feeding out of communication and objectives is hugely important when it comes to managing a flexible team. When you’re working flexibly, there have to be some non-negotiables, and for us, weekly WIPs and 1:1s are it. Our weekly meetings are a chance for teams to touch base together as a group.

In short, to manage a flexible team it’s important to get your tech in order, determine how you will manage and keep track of your team and set up a meeting cadence that suits your company objectives and team workflow.