A New Productivity Paradigm for a Flexible Work Week

Flexibility in terms of working hours is a perk which employees appreciate greatly. If your employee is working on a personal project, has to take care of a family or simply works better if they’re not forced into a normal 9-5 workday, they might like to have flexible hours. And giving employees a certain degree of flexibility in terms of their timings is a great way to attract new employees and keep current employees engaged.

Issues With a Flexible Workweek

You might be worried about whether the overall productivity of individual employees or of the company as a whole is likely to decline if everyone is working different hours. If each employee works on their own assignment and doesn’t have to coordinate with other employees, then a flexible work week might not be that much of a problem. However, if employees are working in a team and each team member has different timings, then how will they manage to coordinate and finish their assignment?

Employees Working on Their Own

If an employee generally works on tasks on their own rather than with a team, then it shouldn’t make that much of a difference what time they choose to work, as long as they turn in their assignments on time. In such cases, it makes sense to set deadlines for the employee. These can be daily deadlines, weekly deadlines or monthly deadlines, depending on what makes sense for the project they are working on. If they work on long-term projects which take a few months to finish, then it makes sense to divide the work into shorter sections and ask them to turn in each section on a monthly basis.

Employees Working in Teams

When employees are working in teams, then it becomes necessary for them to coordinate their timings so that they can work together as and when needed. If the members of a team need to constantly work together, then they’ll need to sit down and figure out timings that will work for all of them. If they can’t do this, then it’s up to the manager to help them reach a compromise. If, on the other hand, employees working on a project don’t need to work together constantly, then they can just set up meetings a few times a week and update the other members of the team about how far they’ve come.

Daily/Weekly Check-Ins

Communication is very important when employees are working flexible timings. As a business owner or manager, you’ll need to check in with employees regularly to make sure that they are on track. You can do this in person or over the phone. It’s a good idea to have employees send you daily or weekly emails as well, detailing whatever is going on with their projects. However, emails can become somewhat impersonal, so be sure to sit down and talk with employees as well. This will keep you informed about what’s going on with them.

Clear Goals and Expectations

When you work with employees who have flexible hours, you’re trusting them to put in the number of hours necessary to finish their assignments. And what matters the most, in this situation, is getting work done in time. However, this won’t happen unless you’re clear about what you expect from your employees. This means being clear about the quantity and quality of work that you need to get done in a certain period of time. Of course, you can sit down with the employee in question to figure out whether the goals you are setting make sense and the two of you can come up with deadlines that seem reasonable for the employee and the client.