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Written by Adele Blair for  Diverse City Careers

There has been a lot of attention given to developing flexible work places to help resolve the constant battle in the balance war.

This has been an amazing development from the past options of part-time or full-time – take it or leave it.  Any other solution was deemed ‘all too hard’ to administer and god-forbid pass the ‘is it fair’ test.

However, we have moved on and happily many companies have been able to develop a flexible work place to support the ever changing lifestyle needs of employees without any impact on their bottom line (because we get that is important too!).

But are we trying to create a fix-all with this one initiative?

There are many situations where offering a flexible work arrangement just doesn’t ‘fit’.

  • When a project reaches a critical point and it is a case of all hands on deck – a large matter is going to court or a major proposal had a deadline –  working away from the team is just not practical.
  • Flexible arrangements is the only, less attractive, option, purely because of the lack of external support, they would much rather be at work with their cohort – in the middle of the buzz – but they can’t.
  • Continuity, some roles demand that one person is at the helm for the full duration of their ‘shift’ such as carer givers and educators.
  • A role that requires a lot of frequent yet irregular travel can be tough to implement flexibility.

So how do you manage these new challenges within your work place?

Ask.  Ask your team what would be the most help to them?  What would really make an impact and allow them to thrive at work?

Often it’s just the simple things that employees find overwhelming.  The mental burden of having an extensive list of things that require attention outside their work responsibilities can be overwhelming.  With little or no external support this can be a true stress-trigger.  Not everyone has a spouse at home, a sister, nanny, or best friend who can help out.

Sometimes support for employees doesn’t need to be super complex, start with the fundamental needs of your people and see what results you can yield.

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