Managing Flexible Working

December 7, 2012 | comments

Managing Flexible Working

Since my last post, I’ve had quite a few requests from people asking for advice on how to deal with flexible working requests or optimise current arrangements. So I thought I’d share a few tips and helpful questions for those of you managing flexible working:

  • Get creative with flexible options - think through what is possible as opposed to what you don’t want to happen. As more and more people start to work flexibly, the best managers and the best organisations will frame this challenge positively.
  • Be commercial in your approach; make sure you are clear on what will work and what won’t.
  • Make it clear that flexibility is a two way street, whilst also setting realistic boundaries and expectations from both sides.
  • What are you trying to achieve through offering flexibility?
  • How sustainable is it and when will you review the arrangement?
  • What are your concerns? What are the team’s concerns? What might other stakeholder’ concerns be? How can you overcome them?

Obviously managers are also dependent upon the policies and procedures that organisations have in place around flexible working, each solution for each organisation we work with is clearly bespoke. Getting it right is a combination of the support and communication that organisations/ managers offer as well as the clarity of employee understanding and intention.

Making flexible working a success is within reach for so many organisations but it does need a concerted effort to establish an individual approach that everyone understands and can work to. 

Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent