How HR team can implement Flexible Work Systems for the New Normal?

Urmi Shah

Urmi Shah

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: June 16, 2021

While we witnessed a historic shift in the job market in 2020, we can now say that the present is the future of remote working we have been talking about over the years. With the rise of remote working and the increased demand for flexible working amidst the pandemic, it is crucial for HR to implement flexible work systems to create a holistic environment successfully.

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According to Upwork, there is a staggering 87% increase in remote workers prior to the pandemic!

Here are four things HR managers need to address to implement the new normal successfully.

Planning – how are you taking into consideration all relevant and required changes and factors?

Productivity – what does it look like now, in new working environments?

Pivoting – what should remain consistent, and where should you pivot?

Policies – what policies and processes need to be re-examined or created to better adapt to the new workplace normal?

Re-establishing organizational culture will become a top priority for HR departments as organizations adopt more flexible working arrangements. Newer Hybrid working models are expected to facilitate more flexible working models from both; home and office. Remote work also has con to it, as no two employees will be working in the same conditions. Establishing a balanced structure that supports a remote workforce to strengthen relationships is a priority.

As per a Future Forum study of knowledge workers across six major countries, the vast majority value flexibility, with only 16% want to be fully remote, only 12% want to return to the office for five days a week. A clear majority of 72% want the option of working within a hybrid remote-office model.

Above all, organizations should not overlook the importance of humanizing the entire workflow. As they accelerate the pace of remote working in the foreseeable future, they must deliberate effort to protect their core values and work towards building an organization that puts people at the forefront of every decision.

Before we move ahead, it is essential to evaluate the opportunities and the challenges posed by the newer working models to implement the new systems successfully.

The factors of the New Normal

  • Remote Working
  • Employee Experience
  • Corporate Culture
  • Employer Branding
  • Developing New Capabilities
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Diversity and Inclusion

1. Remote Working

Remote working is the cornerstone of the new normal. The primary aim is to establish processes and systems that facilitate virtual collaboration. Ensuring transparent communication throughout the organization, remote onboarding, digital recruiting is crucial. Selecting and leveraging the new tools that support the organization’s long-term goal and are in line with the vision is essential.

2. Employee Experience

Another important aspect is to develop a strategy that is employee-centric and supports them holistically. After all, nothing yields better results than a healthy workplace and a motivated employee. Hence the critical question here to address is – How can individual employees’ needs be met?

According to MIT, Firms rated in the top 25% in terms of employee experience have the best business value, also have higher customer satisfaction rates, are faster and more agile — and are more profitable.

3. Corporate Culture

corporate culture

Maintaining a company culture virtually while working from a different set of environments can be difficult, but its importance cannot be overlooked. The culture is a set of guidance that helps the employees safely steers through any crisis. It enables the employee to understand the company’s vision and encourages them to align their action accordingly.

4. Employer Branding

While organizations have been enhance on employee branding since forever, now is when it matters the most. The way the organizations treat the employees makes a significant part of the employer branding. Implementing a flexible system that is employee-friendly and customer support the overall well-being plays an important role in it. We are well aware that the negative news spreads like wildfire, revealing every flaw. Only making it essential for companies to be careful about how they practice the company corporate culture.

“If the reputation of a company’s products and services is its face, the talent brand is its heart and soul” – Hank Stringer & Rusty Rueff. 

5. Developing New Capabilities

Providing continued growth and development opportunities will help the employees, and the organization stays up-to-date with the market’s advancements. Considering relevant skills such as flexibility, adaptability, and teamwork are essential. Implementing work systems that support the development is crucial.

In a study by Quantum Workplace, employees listed professional growth opportunities as one of their highest drivers of employee engagement. Conversely, exiting employees listed lack of growth opportunity as the second-highest reason for leaving.

6. Physical and Mental Health

Physical

With the pandemic going on, the awareness regarding employee health has tremendously increased for the greater good. Mental, as well as physical fitness, are both critical for HR as well as the organization. Considering the fatigue due to the environment, constant use of the screen, and more should be a part of the new work systems.

7. Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity

Not being able to be at the same place physically always has a risk of the employee being left out. While, with more and more remote teams, diversity increases, encouraging inclusion is equally important. The new policies should keep the diverse workforce in mind and the solutions for successful collaboration techniques across the teams.

Now that we have been over the important factors to consider, here are three ways to help you implement flexible work systems.

Three ways to implement Flexible Work Systems

The first step in setting up any flexible working scenario is ensuring that your flexible working policies are up to date and your people have read and accepted any changes that you might have made. To implement your schemes, you’ll want to analyze your business priorities and build your requirements by talking to all relevant stakeholders. If you decide you need technological solutions to help you manage your flexible working schemes, consider the following.

1.Time and attendance software

Specialist time and attendance cloud-hosted software make it easier to implement and manage attendance. It enables HR teams to manage work patterns and record absence data, regardless of the organization’s size or sector. Today, advanced software successfully captures sickness and absence data and empowers HR teams to create flexible working arrangements for their people.

Nine ways time and attendance system will help in implementing flexible work systems.

  • Save hours of planning
  • Eliminate spreadsheets
  • Lessen the time spent on administration and communication spent liaising with employees
  • Overcome the cost of your payroll system by precisely monitoring your staff’s time and attendance
  • Increase employee trust
  • Shield your sensitive records
  • Lessen the cost of absenteeism
  • Block time fraud or payroll abuse
  • Get reports at your fingertips

Still curious about the benefits? Here is an extended version of how a time management system benefits your organization.

2.Specialist HR software

A specialist, SaaS HR software, is a worthy investment in favor of the company. The software supports the present and the organization’s future as it can grow to accommodate the changing needs of your organization. Many HR software enables self-service functionality so that HR managers can view, manage and report on any shift worked, while employees can submit their absences on any device.

3.Integration with your HR software

A best-of-breed approach can help your people use the software they prefer, with the functionality that provides the best results for your organization. An integrated HR system means that you can connect time tracking systems to your HR software for an improved user experience. Such software reduces the effort to duplicate information in different systems, improving data integrity.

It is crucial that HR policies evolve and transforms across every aspect of the HR lifecycle to successfully implement the newer systems and meet organizational goals. In simpler terms, HR will continuously need to evaluate and optimize the systems to stay on top of the ever-evolving organization and employee needs.

Urmi Shah
Urmi specializes in writing long-form actionable insights for the SaaS domain. She has been creating content that translates the brand stories and their expertise for 3+ years. Her content empowers businesses to build and engage with communities and develop better visibility. When not scribbling, she explores the new tools and technologies in the industry.

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