Why Flexible Work Arrangements Might be Right or Wrong for Your Company

Despite recent removal of flexible work arrangements with major companies including Best Buy and Yahoo!, the tendency to encourage telecommuting is thriving elsewhere. Small businesses save money because they need less office space, and larger companies benefit because entire departments and teams can be managed remotely. Of course, flexible work arrangements aren’t for everybody, but for select businesses, they’re effective and beneficial.

Why It Works

Flexible work arrangements work, first and foremost, by offering massive improvements in employee satisfaction. Team members are happiest when they’re working on their own terms, under conditions that are conducive to reaching milestones and exceeding expectations. Many employees are happiest when in control of their schedules, and flexible work arrangements allow this to happen.

This arrangement is also effective because it saves businesses significant amounts of money on office space, in-person training and other costs that are part of having employees in-house. Employees who telecommute from their own location with their own software and hardware, all of which saves overhead for the company.

What You Need to Know

When hiring employees for a flexible work arrangement, you need to ensure that your management team has experience supervising teams remotely, or at least has commonly accepted guidelines easily available. Hiring a remote team means that management can’t rely on walking into the office to ensure everyone’s on track. Instead, effective management means more communication and trust.

Additionally, it takes extra interview finesse to identify potential employees who will thrive in a telecommuting situation. You may find yourself interviewing employees through video or telephone instead of face-to-face over a desk, which requires extra attention on your part to identify desirable character traits.

Overall, flexible work arrangements are an option that takes some extra effort on behalf of the employer, but for good reason. No single approach is right for every business, but flexible work arrangements allow you to save money on on-site costs and increase employee satisfaction. The trade-off is a bit more effort in the process of finding and interviewing employees.

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