Measuring and Evaluating Flexible Work: How Facility Managers Can Weigh In
Though 94% of U.S. employers offer some sort of flexible work arrangement for their employees, only 25% detail the policy in their organization’s handbook. What these figures suggest is that while employers are willing to embrace these arrangements, many don’t seem to know how to effectively implement the policy.
This disconnect speaks to a lack of knowledge about how to adequately evaluate these offerings. Many employers are intrigued by the idea of this program but wary of how they can measure employee productivity once the process is implemented.
As a facility manager, knowing how your employees use flexible work arrangement is necessary for understanding how effective the policy is and how employees are responding to this change in the office. Recently, we discussed how to evaluate if your hot desking strategy is effective, but if you offer various options for flexible arrangements, it is well worth putting something in writing.
What does a flexible work policy look like?
In order for your employees to work within your expectations, it’s best to have a written policy. If they don’t know exactly what is allowed, then they have no way of knowing what they can do, and you have no way of knowing if your expectations are being respected.
There are many examples of flexible work policies available on the internet, but if you are just writing yours, know that it should outline the following things:
- Alternative work arrangements: Can you telecommute on a regular basis? Is written consent required? Is working non-traditional hours allowed, such as working 7am - 3pm instead of 9am - 5pm?
- Compressed work weeks: Do you allow for 4/10 or 9/80 schedules? If so, do employees have to request this schedule? Is it allowed at any time of the year or only during the summer?
- Expectations of employees: If your employees will be working from home or changing their schedule, what is expected of them in relation to communication, job performance and availability during core hours?
Your policy should also outline other ad hoc circumstances, like inclement weather, dependent care, how it relates to vacation or sick time and how dependent the policy is upon quality of work.
Once your policy is written, you can start evaluating its effectiveness.
Is the new policy effective?
While many employees look for flexible work policies when job searching, only 42% of managers think they're important for their organization’s success. What’s more, only 3% organization actually track the ROI of their programs.
Deloitte & Touche have had a flexible work policy in place since the mid-90s. They conduct surveys twice a year to understand how their employees use and interact with their policies asking questions about how these arrangements affect personal and professional life, what the enablers and barriers are to using the arrangement and how supported and satisfied employees feel in relation to the flexible arrangements.
By asking these questions on a regular basis, Deloitte is able to understand how their employees work and how to continue adapting their policies to best reflect employee demand. If you want to understand how effective your plan is, whether or not you have a formal policy yet, conducting an employee satisfaction survey is a great way to understand what is and isn’t working.
Implementing a flexible work policy is made easier with tools and resources to back it up. If employees need to request or make changes to their schedule, you don’t want to receive 50 emails a day with requests for different work arrangements. Instead, invest in software that can manage these requests and help you track how employees are adapting. A successful policy requires more than a can do spirit—it needs firm written guidelines in place and a way of eliciting useful data to confirm its effectiveness. After all, a policy without a set procedure is a recipe for disaster.
Need help learning how effective your flexible work policy is? Contact us for a demo—we have software that can help you learn how your employees work.
Photo Credits: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock /Jacob Lund, Shutterstock / LightField Studios