Flexible working as a small business in a post-lockdown world: A how-to guide

The pandemic has fuelled the number of remote working opportunities that are out there

Flexible working is a phrase that we feel confident those reading this and beyond are all so familiar with. Remote working opportunities were around way before the pandemic struck. But, there is no doubt that the pandemic has fuelled the number of remote working opportunities that are out there.

With a record number of office workers expressing an interest in working flexibly beyond the pandemic, there is no surprise that companies big and small are beginning to address how they can implement it into their business model.

As a small business, you might feel some apprehension about implementing flexible working into your business. You naturally want to monitor your company’s everyday comings and goings in person, which can be made all the more challenging with remote working.

However, that is not to say that it is impossible, and that is where we come into things! Detailed in this piece, you will find a bit about how you can efficiently implement flexible working into your small business as we edge ever further into the post-lockdown and post-pandemic world. Read on for more!

Using Available Resources

We feel confident this is something you would be doing anyway. Still, it would be best if you made a conscious effort to use available resources to make the process of implementing flexible working into your business that bit easier. You are not in this alone! While it might be a challenging and stressful process, you are not the first person to go through this and certainly will not be the last.

Taking the time to explore the available resources while considering how best they would fulfil the needs of your business is paramount to your future and continued success. One common feature of any company that you want to prioritise when working flexibly is communication channels.

There are a plethora of resources on the market tailoring to this aspect of running a business. You might be asking yourself how you would be able to monitor any incoming calls to your company while you are not physically there?

Implementing a call answering service into your business model is one way of doing so. You will be able to effectively manage the incoming and outgoing communications with people both in and out of your office. Not to mention, anyone within your company will be able to access and use a call answering service like this one from Verbatim.

Adapting and Adjusting

There is no surprise that flexible working will take some getting used to. As many people were thrown in the deep end due to the pandemic, they did not get the opportunity to adjust to this new working climate. Not to mention, many office workers up and down the country had to juggle other responsibilities too, like that of caring for children or elderly relatives. It certainly was not easy.

Taking something like this into account is critical to your business moving forward. You want to ensure that your employees are comfortable with the way they are completing their job. In extension, you also want them to be doing their job to the highest standard, and much of that will come down to how comfortable they are.

Allowing employees who opt for flexible working options the opportunity to adapt and adjust to their new routine will make things easier in the long term. At the same time, you must ensure you are consistent with your flexibility as well. While it is all well and good offering flexibility in the first instances of flexible and remote working, you need to uphold this.

For example, allowing employees to work more hours one day to leave earlier on another, whether for leisure purposes or others. Being understanding and flexible in your approach to remote working will significantly contribute to your working relationships.

For some workers, they may also want to work some days at home with others spent in your place of work. Implementing a system that accommodates this while ensuring there is minimal disruption to your work and results is recommended.

Providing Equipment

On the back of the mention above about wanting your employees to complete their jobs to the fullest extent, it seems only natural that you should be prepared to provide them with the equipment to do so.

Assessing what your employees needs before agreeing to the flexible working agreement gives you ample time and opportunity to source what you need. Communicate with your employee about what they feel they need for the job they are completing, and continue to do this throughout the duration of projects and work your undertaking.

As the needs of a project changes, you may find yourself in a position where you need different pieces of equipment too. Ensure this is something you contemplate, so you don’t get caught short in crucial moments!

The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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