Team building is huge in the modern workplace. In fact, communication and collaboration are among the top 4 soft skills employers are looking for in 2018 according to a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn. But if we’re talking about workplace trends, flexible and remote work schedules are also on the rise among professional culture perks. This begs the question, can you still focus on team-building when employees are in and out of the office at different times, making them impossible to pin down for project meetings and progress reports, let alone bonding activities?
At the end of the work day, it’s all about balance.
We’ve got 3 reasons for you to give flexible scheduling a try in 2018 as you look to motivate employees through a positive workplace culture.
Flexible scheduling can help you…
- Save money
There are some distractions you only face in the office. Like Jessica two desks down, conducting client calls on speaker phone, or Jeremy from HR, always stopping by your desk to talk about progress on that project he should really just schedule a meeting for. In fact, it’s estimated employers lose $1.8 trillion in productivity each year, according to a study conducted by SurePayroll. Beyond that, they found that 65% of employees think they’d gain productivity with the flexibility to work from home — and ultimately determined that two-thirds of employers noticed increased productivity among workers who were allowed to telecommute.
- Build trust among your staff
Providing a healthy work-life balance is key when it comes to prioritizing employee engagement and job satisfaction. While fun extras like team outings, pizza parties and potlucks are enjoyable, employees are still looking for the freedom to manage their own professional responsibilities and personal responsibilities.
Prove you trust them by letting them independently prioritize their schedules, then everyone can enjoy the fun perks without stressing over what still needs to be done back at the office.
- Integrate new technologies
Schedules can change, but deadlines can’t. So how do we all meet our deadlines when we’re not in the same place at the same time? The fact remains: to move projects forward you need specific information from specific people.
Luckily, there are tons of tech options out there that can assist, usually for free.
The entire Google Suite offers solutions for sharing and editing documents in real-time. Specifically, Google Calendar event invites allow employees to see where and when coworkers are in and out of the office, streamlining the process of scheduling meetings around mutual free time.
Video chat programs like Skype and Facetime allow for face-to-face conversations anywhere there’s a WiFi connection.
And of course there’s always text chat systems like Google Chat and Slack with options for group messaging, direct messaging, and the ability to send instant images and files.
For managing responsibilities and managing project timelines, there’s Asana and Wunderlist, both of which allow users to delegate tasks to group members by deadline.
Programs like these encourage employees to stay productive while increasing transparency and accountability. In fact, 46% of employees utilize e-mail, chat, or phone messaging in the workplace to avoid distracting face-to-face interactions, according to SurePayroll.
Finding that sweet spot between productivity and perks in the workplace is key when it comes to creating world-class teams. In order to achieve that sustainable balance, employers have to be flexible and constantly evaluating their systems. So, what do you say? Are you ready to start thinking outside the cubicle?