How to establish an Ultraflexibility Policy that works for you and your employees
In recent years, flexibility has become one of the most important aspects of the modern workplace. With the rise of remote work and other non-traditional arrangements, employees now expect employers to be more accommodating than ever before. In fact, 83% of employees consider flexible work arrangements as a deciding factor when evaluating job offers.
Gone are the days when a rigid 9-to-5 work schedule would suffice for a productive work environment. In today's world, where work-life balance is crucial, employees are demanding flexibility over when and where they work. As a business leader or HR manager, it is your responsibility to provide your employees with the freedom to achieve a work-life balance that suits them, or be prepared to lose them. But can you make ultraflexibility work for you as well as your employees? In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of creating an ultraflexibility work policy that works for everyone.
What is Ultraflexibility?
Before creating an ultraflexibility work policy, it's important to understand what it means. Ultraflexibility is defined as the freedom to work when and where employees choose, as long as they meet their job responsibilities.
This policy is an upgrade to the traditional “work from home” or “telecommuting” policies that take into account today’s non-stop and unpredictable schedules. It grants employees control over their schedules, allowing them to work when they’re most productive and balancing their work demands with other aspects of their life like family, education, hobbies, and medical appointments. This approach also focuses on measuring outcome over input, meaning employees are given deadlines or deliverables to measure their performance rather than time in the office.
The advantages of offering Ultraflexibility
An ultraflexibility work policy has many advantages for both employers and employees.
When employees are able to design their own work schedules, they are more likely to be motivated and productive. A study conducted by Slack found that workers who had control over their work schedules were 29% more productive than those who did not.
This is in part because ultraflexibility allows you to set standards and expectations for the employee to meet, emphasising the importance of goal-oriented work rather than a fixed time in the office.
Another advantage of offering Ultraflexibility at work is that it can improve morale. When employees feel like they have some control over their work lives, they are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. Additionally, happy employees are more productive employees.
Offering Ultraflexibility at work can also lead to reduced absenteeism. When employees have the ability to design their own work schedules, they are less likely to need to take time off for personal reasons. Additionally, when employees feel like they have some control over their work lives, they are less likely to experience burnout and need to take time off for mental health reasons.
Improved recruitment and retention
As we mentioned before, when potential employees know that a company offers Ultraflexibility, they are more likely to apply for a job with that company. Additionally, when companies offer Ultraflexibility, they are more likely to retain their best employees as those employees will be less likely to leave for a company that does not offer such perks. In fact, according to research, 32% of people say that flexible working is so important, they would prioritise it over having a more prestigious role.
When employees can work in a way that suits their needs - be it a few days working from home or flexible work hours - they feel supported and in control of their work-life balance. This translates to less stress, greater job satisfaction, and enhanced productivity. Trust is built between the employer and the employee, causing an increase in worker loyalty and reduced turnover.
How to make Ultraflexibility work
As we’ve just shown, adopting an ultraflexibility work policy can be rewarding but it does have its challenges, which perhaps explains why so few businesses have yet to make the change. In fact, a recent Microsoft Work Trends report found that 85% of leaders don't feel confident that their employees are working hard from home.
The concerns are understandable but here are some steps to follow to make the process stress free:
Consider the needs of your employees
The first step in creating an ultraflexibility work policy is to understand the needs of your employees. Consider what motivates them and what they need to be successful in their job. For example, some employees may prefer to work from home, while others would rather work flexible hours to accommodate their personal life. One way to determine your employees' needs is to survey them and ask for their input.
Communicate your expectations
Once you've established an ultraflexibility work policy, it's important to communicate your expectations clearly. Let your employees know what is expected of them when it comes to meeting deadlines, communication, and availability. Set clear guidelines for when employees should check in with their managers and co-workers, and how they should handle unexpected issues.
Focus on results, not time
Make it clear that employees are to be given the freedom to work when and where they choose, as long as they complete their work on time and meet their job responsibilities.
Which leads us on to the next important point…
Create a culture of trust
In order for an ultraflexibility work policy to be successful, you need to create a culture of trust. You need to trust your employees to manage their schedules and deliver quality work but they do need to earn that trust too.
This means building relationships with employees and demonstrating why you trust in their ability to work independently. You should also be transparent about your expectations and communicate regularly with employees to ensure that they feel supported and valued.
Offer Remote Work Options
One of the most important aspects of an ultraflexibility work policy is the ability for employees to work remotely. This means providing the technology and infrastructure necessary for employees to work from home or other remote locations, whenever they need to.
You should also be clear about the expectations for remote work, including how often employees are expected to be available and how they should communicate with other team members. (This should reduce any concerns of quiet quitting!)
Continuously evaluate and adjust
Finally, it's important to remember that an ultraflexibility work policy is not a static document. As your business evolves, your policy should evolve with it. Be prepared to continuously evaluate and adjust your policy to ensure that it is meeting the needs of both employees and the business.
An ultraflexibility work policy is not only possible but highly recommended for businesses looking to improve employee morale and productivity. With the right management and communication strategy, this policy can create loyal, trustworthy, and highly productive workers who are willing to take on any challenge you throw their way. As an HR director or business leader, it's up to you to evaluate your employees' roles and your organisation's needs and determine if implementing an ultraflexibility work policy is the right decision. Given the advantages we’ve presented here, we think it’s definitely worth considering.
For support on devising a policy that’s custom made for your business, get in touch with Lodge Court today.