How to create a flexible work environment

We holiday in a stranger's home and ride in a stranger’s car, yet why do we still struggle to trust employees to work flexibly? 

Ahead of PCOA19, conference presenter Adriane Virtue shares her tips for creating a flexible work environment that still achieves results.

We live in a ‘trust economy’ where we holiday in a stranger’s home and ride in a stranger’s car, yet why do so many still struggle with trusting their employees or colleagues to perform their job to a high quality while working flexibly?

A lot of people want more flexibility to be able to focus on other projects, start a new hobby, spend more time on themselves or their families, or all of the above. To create workplaces of the future there needs to be a shift of mindset.

So, what can be done to create a flexible work environment?

Trust: Ensure that you have trust as a solid foundation.

Management squeeze: Your managers often feel the pressure between the culture directive from the top and managing the employees’ expectations – support your managers.

Clarity: Being clear on what flexible work arrangements are available.

Policies: Have clear policies that support not hinder a flexible work culture.

Negotiation skills: Negotiation is at the heart of agreeing to flexible work, but few people do it well. Up-skill your people to effectively negotiate (both managers and employees).

Managing a flexible team: Up-skill your managers to manage a team flexibly and collaborate as a team to make work, work.

Role modelling: If you can see it, you can be it. Managers through to the top need to role model flexible working otherwise it is just words.

Storytelling: Be sure to share flexible working stories throughout the business and externally. We are social creatures and story-telling works to embed a new culture.

In order to effectively implement flexibility into organisations, Adriane Virtue will encourage PCOA19  attendees to truly reflect and analyse the flexibility culture occurring internally, assess the level of support flexibility is actually receiving, and how else you can support managers and teams to embrace this way of working.

To find out the biggest misconceptions around flexible working, why flexible working hasn’t been fully embraced yet and some innovative success stories, this is the session for you. 

The 12th annual PCOA Conference and Exhibition is being held at ICC Sydney from 8 – 11 December 2019. Find out more here.

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