Many organisations set out to embrace new workstyles but how many acually fully implement them to their full effect?

Some organisations may have an impressive suite of workstyle policies aimed at giving their employees the ‘right’ to request different working styles to suit their lifestyle.  This is a good thing right? But how many of those workstyle policies are matched with the technology to enable the employees to actually work effectively in the workstyle of choice? Or are managed correctly to ensure they can be productive, informed and freed up to achieve their full potential?

Flexible workstyles may take on many forms, and should be aimed at getting the best out of employees, making them more productive (and happy!) in their workplace of choice.  But these can only truly work if the main elements are all in place:-

1.  The policies exist to work in harmony with what the organisation is trying to achieve in terms of meeting business needs AND personal needs of employees. In short, policies support a “win/win” ethos and never work in contradiction to this.

2.  The technology exists to support the employees in working wherever they need to, and how they need to, regardless of location. Accessing essential information, and being able to connect with whoever they need to, whenever they need to in an efficient and effective manner.

3.  Social networking is maximised to its full potential in ensuring employees are in contact with each other, their clients and their managers. In short, with everyone they need to be in contact with. In real time. Flexible workers should never feel isolated or disconnected from the rest of the organisation, their team members and their management. Most importantly, they should never be disconnected from their supply chain.

4.  Management culture is in support of the new workstyle.  The ‘command and control’ style cannot work where employees operate as self rostering teams, and/or are working remotely, in any number of locations, and at hours which suit them.  Management need to accept that new workstyles call for new management styles. You can’t lay a new building on an old foundation where that foundation doesn’t fit. This is possibly the single most important (and often the most daunting) aspect to get to grips with. Managers may feel that their level of control is spiralling away from them.  This calls for a fundamental shift in thinking and management style. There are tools and techniques which can help.  The first step is assessing honestly how far the organisation is in terms of seriously wanting to commit to a fundamental shift in culture.  Once this has been assessed, the best course of action can be developed, aimed specifically at that organisation’s requirements to get them along this journey.

5.  Systems need to be in place which meet the needs of the new management style and provide the correct level of information about what employees are achieving (NOT the number of hours they are sitting at a desk).  Confidence that employees are contactable when needed and that their outputs can be monitored remotely must be achievable.  There are many systems which can manage this, and we can help source them, match them to your needs and implement them.

Digital Nomads are happiest when we see organisations really making different workstyles become harmonious with organisational and employees’ needs. We’re therefore more than happy to help with both large scale and small scale workstyle programmes, in any combination of the areas listed above.