When it comes to managing work today, it feels like there is no turning the clock back to February 2020. The hybrid/flexible working genie is out of the bottle and with that the power dynamic within every desk-bound office has shifted. Employees have a new sense of what it means to be productive and a new ownership of their personal time. They need tangible reasons to come into the office and it needs to offer something that they wouldn’t be able to do from home.
The benefits of hybrid working like a better work/life balance, better family time, reduced commute time and reduced living costs have become too established to revert to the office-based model. And while those benefits do not come without challenges – like isolation, lack of team bonding and task learning – these challenges will not be enough to turn the tide.
With this in mind, the management and operation of flexible and hybrid work models need to be able to adapt for the long term. This presents a considerable challenge for
businesses – especially medium to large enterprises with many different departments and live projects. And it requires adoption of the latest smart software from both a HR and a departmental level.
Of course the Covid-19 pandemic has already tested both businesses and hybrid tech resilience and in many cases they’ve not only proved capable but also highly productive. Now, however we are in new territory – a world emerging from a pandemic with a long-term need for flexible working practices
So how can your managers best adapt to these challenges and thrive in this new area? Here we take a look at the issues and how technology that we provide here at FlexTime can help.
It’s all a matter of time
Flexible and hybrid working is not just a matter of location of course, it also a matter of workers being able to use flexibility with their device and time usage. The better life balance presented by these ways of working are allowing workers to fit their day-to-day life challenges around their scheduled day – and that could mean working from their laptop or their smartphone dependent on the demands.
This means the way they manage their time is becoming quite fluid and the way they record their time needs to allow them this flexibility. Sure, there are monitoring tools out there which can ensure your staff remain fixed to their home desks – but the reality is that flexible working should allow them to complete their hours in a more practical and productive way.
- So how you record their time and absence should allow for flexibility on your end but also give your employees the responsibility to self-manage their time on their end.
All that means your time and leave tracking technology should be able to:
- Work across several devices
- Offer security and privacy – through authentication on different devices
- Allow employees to self-manage their leave requests, time-sheets and clock-ins.
- Easily monitor and track absences like sick leave or bad punctuality
Getting your time and absence recording systems to cover these will give your HR department, team managers and staff members the freedom and responsibility to ensure the work they are doing is truly flexible and workable over the long term.
The VisionTime system from FlexTime is one of the premier solutions in this space, allowing for monitoring and managing of your employees time and leave through one easy to use interface. If you haven’t adopted such a system or are relying on disparate spreadsheets or separate time-logging tools then we recommend that you find out just what it can do for your business.
Staying on track with productivity
According to Forbes last year, productivity not only remained stable during Covid, it actually increased for most desk-bound businesses. And they credit that to staff members gaining more control of their workday, while avoiding many of the unnecessary distractions an office environment can throw up. This meant that many of the big fears that companies had about flexible working pre-covid have proved completely unfounded.
These ways of working have thrown up some other challenges like employee isolation, pressures on team morale or bonding, or helping staff to improve their job skills – especially new starters. However, once again technology has been more than able to fill the gap by helping managers and teams deliver on their KPIs and drive productivity within their organistations.
Shareable cloud-based tools like VisionTime are helping project managers to easily set expectations and milestones. This gives visibility not only to the PMs but the entire team and stakeholders too – with tasks for each team member set so that they can change with the project demands.
Not only that, but as each project’s progress can be accurately tracked it also helps the company pivot tasks, responsibilities and resources to where they are most needed. If one project gets delayed but another is running tight to a deadline, resources can be easily transferred as the situation demands. And all of these can be adjusted and reported and retrospectively too.
The benefits to your business should be obvious but the benefits to your employees should not be understated either. For many aspirational employees, proving their worth, can become a problem at review time if no-one can see what level of contribution you’re making. However, having accessibility to tools that record, illustrate and champion their efforts, will be welcomed by those who are looking to succeed in your company.
So it’s worth remembering that for all the pandemic-era headlines and plaudits given to cloud communications tools like Zoom or Slack, it’s tools like VisionTime System which that can really help drive success and productivity for everyone involved.
Of course tools like these haven’t just changed the game for the office-bound employees they are also improving the operations of field work too. Issues in locations anywhere around the country which may once have taken considerable time to resolve can now be sorted out much quicker.
GPS tracking allows supervisors to allocate the nearest person to the job in real-time and critical information can be efficiently and securely returned to those who can best action it from anywhere.
Evolving with your needs
It’s these emerging Cloud and AI technologies that have really opened the world of hybrid and flexible working. As a global society we’ve been fortunate on a working level that something as catastrophic as a pandemic has not brought the business world to its knees. And we have these technologies to thank.
The new working paradigm most businesses are now operating under is still a revolutionary one however. And the challenges that are getting thrown up by this brave new working world are not always expected, nor have they been fully grasped.
However with almost every fresh challenge to be faced, technology can step into the breach – keeping teams connected, their time and leave record and their projects on-track. We’re sure this technology will continue to evolve and at FlexTime we’ll ensure we will evolve with it so that your teams can continue to be at their most productive.