Flexible work schedules have grown increasingly common in the last year. Restrictions imposed by a global pandemic have forced business leaders to discover ways of working outside of the traditional office environment. Today’s leaders manage distributed teams, often working from home and striving to remain productive in a changing landscape.
Although the global landscape may be a little confusing right now, it’s still the responsibility of business leaders to keep things running smoothly. The question for many managers is how they can continue to consistently achieve their
goals when handling a flexible work schedule.
Here are some top tips to get you on the right track.
Make Communication a Priority
Whether you’re managing remote employees or trying to handle the complexities of working from home yourself, communication is key to your success.  Teams work better when there’s a constant dialogue of knowledge flowing between all members of staff. Maybe sure your team has plenty of ways to connect through online chat, conference calls, and even video chat. During the 2020 crisis,  the video became a valuable way of keeping team members aligned and connected throughout the workday. Also, consider using a digital calendar for all of your team members so you can set up video calls at the perfect time for your staff when you know they have no other obligations to worry about.
Invest in the Right Technology
The right technology is a must-have for any productive manager or team member right now. In a world where people are working further apart, we’re increasingly relying on technology to bridge the gaps. Online collaboration software which shows the current “status” of each person in your team will help you determine who’s available to answer questions or take on a task at any given time. You may want to consider using project management tools  to track the completion of progress and remind everyone in your team of upcoming deadlines. These tools even come with the option to assign specific people to certain tasks, so everyone knows what they should be doing when. Time management tools can also help you to track when your employees are working each day.
Set Expectations for Yourself and Others
As a business manager or leader, you already know how important it is to set expectations for your employees. The best business leaders make sure their staff members are familiar with the values of the brand and know how they’re going to be evaluated on their work. To help everyone stay on track during a difficult time, decide how you’re going to measure business outcomes.
In a flexible environment, you may prefer to give your team the freedom to choose their own hours most of the time. If that’s the case, make sure your team members know when they’re expected to be online for group meetings and when they need to be aware of deadlines. Once you’ve set your expectations, allow your staff to arrange their schedules accordingly. Lead by example to ensure that everyone stays on track. For instance, you should always be the first person at a mandatory video conference.
Manage Assets and Resources Correctly
When you and your team are working remotely, it’s not always possible to get assistance finding an important document or tool from another professional. With that in mind, make sure to set your team up for success by making resources easily accessible. Keeping your assets and information well-organized in an easy-to-search environment is crucial. Currently, around 43% of small businesses  fail to track inventory and assets correctly.
Poor organization means that business team members spend more time searching for the tools and insights they need and less time getting work done. Moreover, the failure to track your assets and tools correctly will also have a negative impact on your security. You could even end up losing track of valuable data that would help you and your team to make better decisions going forward.
Constantly Learn and Improve
For many businesses, the move to flexible working schedules has happened a lot quicker than they would have liked. Most organizations are struggling to keep up with sudden changes in the way they work, and this is leading to various stumbling points and challenges on the road to success. Paying attention to your employees’ feedback and discussing your flexible work policies as you go will help reduce any potential problems. Ultimately, every company will need to construct the best working environment for their teams based on the unique needs of each staff member.
Tracking productivity metrics 5 within your organization and listening to your customers when they provide feedback will help you to make changes that benefit your company in the long run. Listen to your employees and be ready to make changes based on how they work best. As your team becomes more comfortable working remotely, you’ll get a better idea of what really works.
Keep Achieving Your Goals
A sudden change in the way we work can be difficult to get used to at first. For many businesses, the digital transformation of the workforce and the new flexible schedule come with a range of challenges. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to leverage this new versatile environment for bigger business benefits. You and your flexible team can achieve just as much working from different locations as you can working together. All you need is the right plan for consistently achieving your goals.