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Flexible work policy: deskbird’s tips and best practices


February 22, 2024


February 23, 2024

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving work landscape, the ability to adapt is not only an advantage but also a necessity. Flexible work arrangements are a revolutionary approach that redefines the traditional 9-to-5 by empowering employees with the freedom to balance their professional and personal lives like never before. From hybrid work to flexitime and job-sharing, a flexible work policy represents flexibility at its best

Are you ready to go through the A to Z of adopting, creating, and implementing a concept that meets the modern workforce’s expectations and drives your organization forward? Great, because this is what the following article is about! From understanding the significance of inclusion and accessibility to establishing trial periods and training leaders, we’ve got you covered with the most important aspects of a successful flexible policy. 

And what better way to illustrate this practice than by taking the deskbird flexible work policy as an example? Yes, we are also going to tell you how we do it at deskbird so you can have a clearer understanding of what a flexible work environment looks like. Welcome to the future of work, where flexibility isn’t just a perk, it’s a strategy.

Why should you also create a unique flexible work policy?

It provides basic rules and guidelines for everyone to refer to

Creating a flexible work policy is paramount as it sets boundaries and expectations for employees while ensuring that the agility it offers doesn’t lead to confusion or misunderstandings. A well-defined policy outlines the dos and don’ts as it establishes a framework for when and where your team members can work, the degree of autonomy they have, and the accountability measures in place. It provides people with the necessary guidance to navigate flexible work arrangements effectively, promotes fairness and consistency across the organization, and helps to maintain productivity while supporting work-life balance. Clear policies thus guarantee the successful implementation of flexible working models.

It promotes inclusion, equity, and equality

A flexible work policy is also key for promoting inclusion, equity, and equality within the workforce. When you establish clear-cut guidelines that are uniformly applicable, you ensure that all employees have equal access to varied working arrangements, thus acknowledging and respecting diverse circumstances and needs. This inclusive approach minimizes the risk of inequitable treatment and biases as long as the policy is implemented universally, irrespective of role, level, or personal background. It fosters a culture where different working styles and preferences are accommodated fairly, allowing individuals to thrive while balancing their professional and private commitments. This step is essential to create a more harmonious and fair workplace for everyone.

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woman working at dining table
Woman working flexibly from home

It avoids confusion and minimizes conflicts

Another key reason crafting a clear, flexible work policy is essential is that it is valuable for employees and team managers to avoid confusion and preemptively mitigate potential conflicts. When rules are ambiguous, people may form their own interpretations, leading to a melting pot of personal guidelines that can cause inconsistency and friction. For managers, a concrete policy acts as a reference point for supervising their teams, ensuring that all members are treated fairly and impartially. It also empowers workers to confidently address any issues that arise, informed by a set framework. Therefore, a tailored-made policy is a cornerstone of smooth operations, transparency, stability, and fairness for everyone in the organization.

It retains and attracts talent

A well-designed flexible work policy can be a significant factor in retaining and attracting top talent, as it reflects an organization’s understanding of the contemporary work-life paradigm. Such policies can include remote working options, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks, which resonate with high performers who value autonomy and work-life balance. Moreover, by showing a willingness to adapt to employees’ expectations, companies signal a progressive and people-centric culture. Tech giants like Google and Microsoft offer flexibility, which keeps skilled professionals by their side and attracts new talent looking for an employer that respects their need for a harmonious work-life integration, leading to a diverse, motivated, and loyal workforce.

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How do you design a flexible work policy that works, retains, and attracts talent?

Include your employees in the creation process

Your staff are the first in line to be affected by your flexible work policy. Thus, including them in designing these rules and guidelines makes sense to ensure their relevance and success. When workers contribute their perspectives, the policy becomes tailored to their actual needs and preferences, boosting its adoption and effectiveness. Engaging with team members can be achieved through surveys, focus groups, or a representative committee, allowing for diverse insights. This collaborative approach not only enhances employee buy-in by making them feel heard and valued but also leads to a more robust and well-rounded policy. Inclusion in the creation process fosters a sense of ownership among people, which can drive higher job satisfaction and productivity.

Make your flexible work policy accessible to everyone

Don’t forget to make the flexible work policy accessible to everyone. The document must be distributed to the entire team and easily retrievable, such as through a company intranet or a shared digital space, to facilitate quick reference at any time. Moreover, accessibility means considering those with impairments and providing alternative text formats, screen reader compatibility, and other accommodations. This inclusion not only fulfills legal obligations but also demonstrates an organizational commitment to diversity and equity, making all employees feel supported. Readily available and user-friendly policies help maintain a transparent, cohesive work environment aligned with the corporate values and goals.

👉 Learn about tips and best practices for more inclusion in the workplace!

Colleagues working in the office
Colleagues working in the office

Train leaders to the flexible work management best practices

Knowing and using the flexible work management best practices is vital for the success of your policy. Managers play a key role in effectively implementing these rules and guidelines as they set the tone and ensure consistent application. Through training, leaders can learn how to support distributed teams, maintain communication, meet expectations, and track performance without micromanaging. It provides them with tools to handle the unique challenges that flexible ways of working can present, such as fostering cohesion and guaranteeing equitable treatment of all employees. Well-equipped managers can advocate for and model the benefits of flexible work, resulting in a more agile, engaged, and productive workforce.

Team up with technology to guarantee a successful flexible work adoption

Another essential aspect to give your flexible work approach the best chance of success is to incorporate the right technologies. Must-have tools like desk booking software allow your staff to effortlessly book their workspaces, enhancing the hybrid experience by making sure resources are optimally used. Communication platforms such as Slack or Microsoft Teams provide seamless collaboration channels, while video conferencing solutions such as Zoom enable face-to-face meetings, regardless of location. Project management applications, such as Asana or Trello, keep projects on track and transparent. Collectively, these technologies foster a smooth transition by boosting collaboration, ensuring interactions are productive, and maintaining a high level of employee satisfaction in an agile and flexible working setup.

🤳 Discover the benefits of teaming up with technology in the workplace!

Set a trial period to test the efficiency of your flexible work arrangements

Once all the aspects above are ticked, it’s time to set a trial period for flexible work arrangements and see if you’ve designed a successful policy. It allows the organization to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the new ways of working in a controlled, time-bound manner, identifying any issues or areas for improvement. Without this experimental phase, a company risks fully committing to a policy that may not align with its operational needs or workers’ expectations, potentially leading to reduced productivity, decreased employee morale, or even functional disruptions. Testing the waters with a trial period affords the opportunity to collect feedback, make necessary adjustments, and ensure the flexible work policy is optimized for both the business and your coworkers.

Be employee-centric and open to change

Lastly, being flexible and open to change are golden rules when adopting a flexible work policy. As people’s needs and expectations evolve over time, your policy should adapt to accommodate these shifts. It’s crucial to recognize that not everyone is eager or well-suited to work from home, like compressed hours, or thrive under such flexibility. Businesses must be willing to listen to employee feedback and iterate their policies accordingly. This adaptive approach guarantees that the policy remains relevant, inclusive, and supportive of all individuals within the company. Through this, you ensure that it contributes to enhancing a positive and productive work environment that answers your team members’ diverse preferences and work styles.

💡 Check out our customers’ reviews to discover what our users think about the deskbird app!

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Employee working from cafe

What is the flexible work example we embrace at deskbird?

The difference between flexible work and hybrid work

Hybrid work is a specific form of flexible work that mostly addresses a geographical dimension. It combines working from the office with working remotely according to set agreements or company policies. In contrast, flexible work is based on three core aspects: location (encompassing hybrid, remote first, office first), time (such as flexitime, compressed workweeks, part-time), and various working models (like job-sharing or distributed teams). While both concepts allow for adaptability in work practices, flexible work is broader, often tailor-made to individual preferences and business needs. For an in-depth understanding of this concept and its multifaceted nature, you can read our comprehensive article on flexibility at work.

A sneak peek into the deskbird team’s flexible way of working

At deskbird, having a diverse team is one of the core pillars of our company culture. We love having team members from all around the world with various backgrounds and working locations. When we meet all together, these moments are so rich and memorable. With such a diverse and distributed workforce, there is no other way than to be flexible. It is actually one of our greatest strengths. Not only does it allow us to attract and recruit talent worldwide without being geographically blocked, but it also enables us to create a team composed of highly skilled and diverse people.

We hope you now have a better understanding of the importance of allowing flexible work arrangements and also of designing a clear and tailored flexible work policy for your company. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Your employees’ expectations need to be considered as much as your business requirements

To ensure the success of this modern approach to work, transparent communication, concrete rules and guidelines, trust, and autonomy are paramount. Invest in the right technology to stay connected, and remember, flexibility should be a tool for empowerment, not a compromise on collaboration, productivity, and well-being at work. Now, embrace these best practices and watch your team thrive in a flexible work culture that benefits everyone. 

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Flexible work policy: deskbird’s tips and best practices

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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