Looking to implement flexible working in your office?

Young woman completing training course on laptop


In September 2019, Tiger Recruitment hosted a roundtable discussion with a handful of HR professionals across a variety of industries. The topic of the day? The rise of flexible working, and how this shift is playing out in the modern workplace. One of the key topics discussed was its  practical implementation to ensure as successful an outcome as possible.

Flexible working should be ‘reason-neutral’

For employers, implementation can prove daunting as it can be hard to know where to start, particularly if they’ve not formalised these types of policies previously. At our roundtable, all attendees agreed that flexible working should be reason-neutral, meaning that an employee shouldn’t need to give a reason to want to work flexibly.

Everyone in attendance also recognised that flexible working should be open to all employees; however, it could depend on employee performance. For some, it made more sense to introduce it after their probation period; for others, it was effective immediately. Whichever approach is chosen, management should negotiate to ensure that the arrangement doesn’t affect business functions negatively.

“At our roundtable, all attendees agreed that flexible working should be reason-neutral”

Shot of a group of colleagues brainstorming together on a glass wall in an office

Make sure management is on board

Attitudes from management are critical to a successful implementation, with one attendee stating that “old-school management believe they have to see you to believe that you’re working”. The use of an external consultant or interactive workshop may help change the mindsets of more traditional management, educating them on the different options available and the benefits it’ll bring to the workplace.

In addition, clear communication and comprehensive guidelines are critical for both management and employee expectations. These guidelines would need to include definitions of exactly what will or won’t work for a specific team.

“Old-school management believe they have to see you to believe that you’re working.” – Roundtable attendee

Policy details are important

Examples of important guidelines at the roundtable included:

In essence, there is no one rule for each business, however it is absolutely necessary for a formalised policy or guideline document to be implemented in order to make the situation work for both employees and employer.

If you’d like to learn more about the roundtable discussion, you can request a copy of the full report here!

Author Jenna Glen Tiger Recruitment Team

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