Is a formalised system essential for Flexible Working?

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In my previous Blog, I covered how the nature of Flexible Working was being altered by Covid 19 and other workplace trends.  An outcome from all of this has seen certain new pressures on organisations. Some see an answer to this is the use of a formalised system, while others might argue that it is still possible to manage without one.  

Let’s take a simple footballing analogy: –  

It is possible to arrange a game of football in a local park, in quite a casual way. All you might need is a ball and two jumpers for goalposts, and off you go!  

Flexible Working

However, what if you want to take playing football more seriously? Then proper goalposts, nets, pitch markings and grass cutting are all essential. If crowds are involved, as we hope they will be again sometime, then stands should be in place.  

So, in an analogous way, many organisations look to a formalised system for managing flexible working arrangements.  

The reasons why?   

  • To raise the level of seriousness that organisations attach to the subject 
  • To support the ability to introduce such measures 
  • Through real-time visibility, to show each day to all involved, that fairness can co-exist with flexibility  

Importantly, by having such a formalised system for flexible working in place, it helps to ensure that you and those involved in your workplace, do not become overly stressed. 

For instance:  

  • By recording attendance, supervisors and colleagues will know when an employee is available for work, isn’t on leave, starting late, finishing early, on a job-share etc. 
  • If an employee requests a new flexible working arrangement e.g. different working times, then the supervisor can input that request into the system in order to assess its real future impact, before agreeing to anything. 

So, this is a combination of the real-time management of current attendance added to what might be called “time modelling” of future arrangements. 

Management are left in no doubt about what is and will be happening in their workplace. Equally, Staff and Supervisors are secure in the knowledge that whatever arrangements are arrived at, can be fair to all involved.    

Check out our VisionTime system for more on this subject. Also join me soon for my next Blog, when I will go into a little more detail on the management of flexible working arrangements. 

Ciaran Rowsome