January 14, 2016 by Michelle Tremblay

How much would your employees and colleagues be willing to compromise for a more flexible work experience? Modern technology and society say you won’t have to sacrifice a thing.

What once were considered perks are now expectations for many job seekers—like an interactive company culture or the option to work from home—and businesses are adapting. The competition is on for recruiters and hiring managers to boast enough of these benefits to attract and retain top talent. If your company’s offerings fall short, candidates (and current employees!) will look elsewhere. Keep employees happy and job hunters interested with these ideas.

1. Offer collaboration options. Are you a slave to your inbox? While email is a key player in workplace communication, it shouldn’t be your office’s only method outside of the traditional phone call. Try incorporating tools like instant messaging and video conferencing to facilitate conversations in real time with colleagues or customers. This allows workers to choose which mode works best for them and adds variety to the workday.

2. Encourage a change of scenery. Speaking of combating monotony, make 2016 the year to break out of your office or team’s daily routines. Being chained to your desk day in and day out portrays the image that you’re working hard, but this can actually be a huge productivity killer. According to DeskTime’s blog, the most productive people work for 52 minutes, then break for 17 minutes. In today’s always-on culture, it’s important to switch up your routine and your environment frequently. Some businesses have even adopted company-wide practices, like hot desking, that make it nearly impossible to have the same day-to-day workday experience.

3. Embrace mobility. We can’t always be at our desks, but we can pretty much always be with our cell phones. Implementation of mobile devices and cloud-based solutions are necessary for enabling today’s on-the-go workforce. Gone are the days of covering up personal phone use during the 9-5. This is how we get our news, stay on schedule, and primarily communicate. Countless organizations are now adopting BYOD (bring your own device) policies, allowing employees to use their personal phones for work; this eliminates the hassle of having two devices for separate uses. There are business solutions that keep personal and professional communications completely separate, simplifying the day-to-day life of your employees and colleagues.

4. Allow for flextime or remote work. A hot topic of conversation is how employees work best, but what about where and when? Presenting remote work and flex schedule options can go a long way in terms of productivity, motivation, stress reduction, and overall happiness. It’s a way to show your employees that you trust them to work successfully regardless of location and that you support the “life” portion of their work-life balance. According to the CEO of FlexJobs, allowing for a distributed workforce also benefits employers, affording managers the advantage to access quality talent regardless of market rates or geography. Running this type of business operation effectively is made possible with the help of cloud-based business applications. Employees are able to work at home or halfway across the globe with the same user experience.

5. Take a vacation! And let your employees feel comfortable taking vacation time, too. According to this survey, 82% of working professionals have responded to work-related emails while on vacation. Having remote access to this activity while taking time off is valuable in the event a work emergency arises or you need to delegate an urgent task. Otherwise, it’s important to power down and relax. Lead by example so your employees can feel at ease doing the same.

6. Have the resource capacity. Allocate the right tasks to the right people. It’s easier said than done to accomplish this exclusively, but there are reasons your staff members applied for the jobs they did. It’s essential to let them excel at what they do best. Are there tedious tasks consuming the time of your most skilled workers? Find a technology that can help. Are some functions of your business consistently busier than others? See if you have the budget to bring on new employees to that can share the workload. This will make managing easier for you, production more successful for your staff, and employee retention better for the organization as a whole.

Michelle Tremblay
Michelle Tremblay

Marketer by trade and grammar geek by nature, Michelle is lucky enough to apply her love for language within a fast-growing technology market. Thriving most when behind the scenes, she creates, edits, and organizes content at Fuze (formerly ThinkingPhones) for various global communications. Michelle is a New Hampshire native and current resident of Somerville, MA who enjoys hockey, indie rock music, strong coffee, yoga, and thrift shopping.

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