Thanks to technology and a highly competitive labor market, a flexible workplace is a benefit that more and more companies use to improve retention and recruitment of top talent. Telecommuting creates a culture of inclusion, high production and happy workers because it allows employees to achieve a better work-life balance while easing the stress of daily commutes. Flexible work arrangements might actually improve your bottom line as well.
Top talent may not come from locations that are close to your office. Creating a flexible workplace allows you to reach entirely different sets of candidates. Rather than limiting your recruiting opportunities to certain areas, expand your opportunities to include as large of a candidate pool as possible. Technological tools, such as applicant trackers and automated recruiting software, can narrow a large group of candidates rather quickly. For interviews, you can always turn to teleconferencing software and video chats.
A flexible workplace helps save money because it allows you find the best candidates quicker. Also, once you fill the position, the employee is more likely to stay with your company for a long period of time, since flexible jobs are usually hard to come by. Telecommuters are often happier and more productive because they value a better work-life balance.
Questions to Ask
Hiring managers and human resources should find the answer to three basic questions when it comes to instituting a flexible workplace program. Are the employees more productive away from the office than in the office? Do these employees develop valuable relationships with others without regular, face-to-face contact? Do remote employees manage their time effectively and produce results?
To this end, companies should focus on core competencies of employees rather than geographic location. This makes it easier to find workers who are the best fit for the position. Although it's relatively easy to set up workers at home with computers, smartphones and cloud-based software, it's more difficult to determine if telecommuting creates more productive workers over the long term. Answering these questions and collecting pertinent data about flexible workplaces helps employers create the right type of environment for telecommuters.
Hiring managers could use performance management software as a way to track productivity. Videoconferencing technology can bring employees together in a virtual office for daily or weekly meetings. There are many virtual tools employers can use to help foster relationships, trust and collaboration among remote workers.
For telecommuting arrangements to be successful, everyone must be in support of the arrangement. Telecommuters must feel valued and respected by everyone in the company, from the CEO to entry-level workers.
Working from home allows full-time employees to maintain stable employment and live more balanced, happier lives. Flexible workplace situations can also reduce company costs, improve employee retention and recruitment and increase profits.
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