Why Offering Anytime, Anywhere Work Works
An Anytime, Anywhere Work Survey was completed by ConvergenceCoaching, LLC this spring, and they’ve published the results. In the survey, they asked firms to provide feedback on the results of flexible work programs, asking for both the good and the bad aspects of having an anytime/anywhere working model. It isn’t much of a surprise that the positive outweighed the negative, given the popularity of cloud computing and mobile working models.
The benefits of providing flexibility where and when people work is something that many businesses are just realizing. It took a while for the idea to catch on (and for the technology to catch up) but enterprise and small business alike are now taking advantage of flexible work programs to improve employee morale and the business bottom line. Keeping employees happy and engaged is critical to running and growing a successful business, and providing a level of flexibility in work programs can deliver a big boost to worker satisfaction.
Supporting a flexible work environment and mobile employees takes some additional attention to detail, especially when it comes to communication. If workers aren’t certain of their responsibilities and boundaries, then expectations may not be fully met. Training and communication become key elements in the business, making sure that employees understand what to do and how to get it done before they are allowed to operate remotely and with less on-site support.
There may also be some workers who feel that disconnecting is not an option when they are allowed some flexibility in hours and place of work. Often electing to error on the side of caution, these users may put in more hours than usual simply to make sure that their work and contribution is recognized. It is the “out of sight, out of mind” scenario they play over and over again, fearing that they will be forgotten or their usefulness minimized simply because they are not present in the office. On the other hand, many workers describe being more effective in their jobs because they’re able to focus better and find themselves to be more creative or efficient when working away from the office. The company must provide clear lines of communication and work validation which support offsite employees and allows workers to embrace the freedom an anytime/anywhere approach offers if they want positive and productive results.
The survey demonstrated that businesses offering flexibility in work programs saw improvement of employee work/life balance and better overall morale than those offering no such flexibility. Building and improving trust among teams was another cited benefit, as was the positive impact to the job of finding and retaining staff. I think the best attribute of the Anytime/Anywhere working model listed from the survey was “It is worth it!”. Maybe it’s just because I agree.