Jessica Miller-Merrell | , , , ,| By
Flexible Scheduling Driven by Mobile, Email, & Internet Work Technologies
As an HR professional who has been responsible for managing multiple locations for recruiting, hiring, and employee relations, I’ve always worked in an office where many of my employees were not, and there were never enough hours in the day. Technologies like mobile phones, email, and the Internet allowed my workforce to have access to me or other online resources to answer common employee questions about topics like annual employee benefit enrollment, time off requests, and employment verification. With the increased reliance on technology to do my job, my job has become increasingly mobile with the expectation that I will answer questions, submit reports, and fill job openings anywhere, everywhere, and even on the road. This is what makes the mobile yet flexible workforce so attracted especially since I’ve always been dedicated in my manager role. I’ve worked my share of late nights, weekends, and evenings making employee new hire files on my living room floor. I’ve even interviewed a high profile job seeker for an executive sales role on Black Friday while in line check out line buying a two for one special on women’s turtlenecks.
Types of Flexible Work Schedules
Being a mom has made having a flexible work and lifestyle even more important. Just last week I took a client call while working from the car repair shop. This is my life. I can’t fit enough hours into the day, but I’m the master of the multi-task. The infographic below was designed by my team to help articulate just how important the mobile and flexible workforce lifestyle actually is. It is in fact the key to my professional success which at this very moment, it is 1:00 AM, and I am working late. My schedule flexes to my needs. I understand the responsibility in order to make an income or keep a job, and I get the job done. Some highlights:
- By 2016, 4 out of 5 workers will have flexible work arrangements. And employees are just about willing to do anything for employers that offer a flexible work program including taking a cut in pay, reduce their vacation time, and never shower again. Having that flexibility to be able to balance children, social commitments and work is that important.
- In my mind, there are 5 types of flexible work types: Break Flex, Meal Flex, ROWE, Telecommuting, and Work Flex. Read more about these five here.
- The 2010 Telework Bill has helped make the flexible work lifestyle mainstream. Different agencies have had amazing success, and if the government can implement a flexible work schedule for their workforce, anyone can. Yes, really. Read more about the 2010 Telework Bill here.
- The biggest challenge in implementing your flexible work program isn’t your employees, it’s your management team. Many managers micromanage and do not have the skills or ability to engage, motivate, and retain a remote work team. While challenging it is not an impossibility. The success lies squarely on the organization to develop, train, implement, and execute a flexible work program where the employee and the manager can succeeed.
- Flexible work can include hourly as well as salary workers. Traditional retail organizations are using flexible work programs to attract and retain high turnover hourly positions. It can happen.