Your company claims to be a proponent of workplace flexibility. It has a formal flexible work policy, and some of your employees even leave the office early so they can spend more time with their families.
But is your company really doing everything possible to promote a flexible work environment and ensure better work-life balance for its workers? Is flexible work an integral part of your company culture?
Work flexibility is continuing to grow in popularity, but many companies have yet to take full advantage of the numerous benefits flexible work brings.
Here are four ways you can make sure your office culture truly promotes flexible work and encourages a more cohesive, happier, and more productive work environment.
1. Formalize Your Flex
Up until now, your company’s flexible work policy was on a need-to-know basis. Some workers were granted flex, but others weren’t. Perhaps your managers believe that offering flexible schedules to everyone will cause utter chaos. Nothing will get done, and workers will be impossible to get in touch with.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Numerous studies have shown that workers who get to use their flex are far more productive than their office-bound colleagues. Besides, offering flex to some employees and not others is a good way to cause animosity instead of fostering a more positive and unified culture.
Make your company’s flexible work policy official by addressing work flexibility not only for some employees, but for everyone.
2. Remove the Bias
When people think of work-life balance (and who might need it most), there’s a fairly good chance that they’re thinking of a frantic working mother who is trying to tackle her workload while getting dinner on the table.
But work-life balance is not gender-specific; everyone can benefit from a more harmonious relationship between their personal and professional life.
That’s why you should make a concerted effort to ensure that no social stigmas regarding flexible work exist in your office. Beyond that, no worker should be made to feel guilty or inadequate simply because of their need for flexibility.
3. Lead by Example
Let’s say that your company has a flexible work policy firmly in place. As a manager, you might be able to work from home, but you opt instead to work at the office each and every day.
Stop for a moment and consider what type of message you’re conveying to the rest of your team. If you’re not utilizing your flex, chances are your employees won’t either – even if they really need to.
You might prefer to work in the office, but you really should walk the walk and work from home once in a while to show your support of your company’s flexible work policy and encourage your team to take advantage of it.
4. Be Positive
Attitude is everything when it comes to flexible work. If you show your workers that you respect and enjoy your flexible work schedule, they will feel free to do the same. So take the time to show your support of work flexibility.
Maybe you can shine a spotlight on a worker’s community service projects or how another employee was able to successfully fundraise for their child’s senior class trip. If your employees feel that you’re in favor of the company’s flexible work policy, they’ll be that much more likely to use it. In turn, that will make them happier and more loyal.
It’s one thing to have a flexible work policy in place. It’s quite another to have a company culture that fosters flexible work. But by intertwining the two, employees (and employers) will get to enjoy the many, many benefits that come with flexible work.
Brie Reynolds is the director of online content at FlexJobs.