As many employees begin to return to the workplace, employers are dealing with a majority of their workforce who have adapted to a new lifestyle of working from home. With this in mind, many companies are now considering offering work schedules that adapt to this “new normal.” To do this successfully, there are things to consider about how to design a flexible work schedule to accommodate employees as well continue to fulfill the needs of the company.
Balancing Employee Needs with Customer Needs
Every company sells a different kind of product and customer base that has a specific expectation when it comes to delivery of services. That is why it is crucial when designing flexible working schedules for employees that customer satisfaction is still at the forefront of decision-making. Asking the following questions about flexible scheduling is a good place to start:
Can flexible work scheduling accommodate all employees as well as continue offering optimal customer service?
Will there be some employees who are not able to work a flex schedule because of the role they play in delivering customer products and services?
From there, guidelines can be created that become the standard for each department within the corporate structure that still reflect flexible working schedules but maintain the same customer service.
How Will the Flex Scheduling Process Take Place?
Even though there may be multiple types of flexible schedules offered, there still must be one individual or team of individuals who maintains them and a standard process by which all employees receive them on a regular basis. Creating this type of system means collaborating with human resources to understand state and federal regulations as well as corporate rules that govern employee time and benefits. Additionally, asking the right logistical questions will create uniformity and less confusion about which employees are working in-person, working from home, or not working at all:
How will everyone receive their daily schedule (email, phone app, text)?
Who will be responsible for schedule distribution?
Will the schedule go out monthly, weekly, bi-weekly, or even daily depending upon corporate special projects and activities?
How many lines of communication will have to set up and for what period of time each day to field employee issues with scheduling including absences, emergencies, and changing flex time?
Answering these questions will help to create a foundation for a standard process for flexible scheduling. As issues arise, the process can be reconfigured and improved without having to completely overhaul it and leave employees in disarray and confusion.