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Why flexible work is more important than ever

Are you and your staff working from home? Here’s why you should consider keeping flexible working around post-COVID-19…

Figure 1 Source: Unsplash

With more than a third of Australians working from home since the coronavirus outbreak and no clear end in sight, flexible work has proven to be more important than ever. Whether it’s leniency with start and finish times or #WFH full-time, the future of work has drastically changed, and flexible working will be a key consideration for employees post COVID-19.

So, why should you consider flexible working for your employees moving forward? We spoke to Narelle Anderson, member of Dell’s Women Entrepreneur Network (DWEN), and founder and Managing Director of Envirobank about how to best implement this within a business and what the benefits entail.

Focus on results, not time entries

Flexible working can mean varying start times, extended breaks or broken up work days. As a result, this makes time-tracking more difficult, but Narelle has found, the hours aren’t always the tell-tale signs of efficiency or success.

“We don't do clock watching at Envirobank,” shares Narelle. “We don't concern ourselves with the time you log in and out, rather did you achieve your targets and goals. This way, people don't feel guilty if they want to go to the 10am spin class or pick up kids and go to the park.”

By effectively communicating this shift of focus to hitting targets and producing results, employers can comfortably take a step back while employees can work more efficiently knowing they are trusted to manage their time and output.

Improved wellbeing makes for better engagement scores

Figure 2 Source: Unsplash (@cathrynlavery)

When Narelle saw her staff’s productivity, happiness and engagement scores had all increased, she knew that introducing a flexible working policy at Envirobank was a step in the right direction.

“We have always had a flexible environment pre-COVID and it has been one of the points of differences when competing with larger companies,” shares Narelle.

“Put simply, when scores all round have increased, it’s hard to argue [with flexible working] when your team is stepping up.”

The Envirobank founder and MD has also seen the positive effects of flexible working come full circle: “People are now happier to come to work; they look forward to coming in to hang out with their workmates for water cooler talk.”

Unlocking new potential

Figure 2 Source: Unsplash (@brookecagle)

Aside from the immediate benefits for already-employed staff, flexible working also presents the opportunity for businesses to unlock new potential. No longer is it absolutely mandatory for employers to hire staff who reside in the same city, and instead they can look to hire state, or even country-wide.

Narelle has embraced flexible working, which has enabled her to employ staff who work remotely, saying “it has definitely opened up the talent pool.”

Communicating with staff working remotely has also never been easier thanks to technology. Narelle’s team at Envirobank have embraced communication tools such as Slack to keep the team connected, as well as project management tools like Trello.

Ultimately, flexible working has meant Envirobank can engage more regional and remote talent now; unlocking new potential for the business as well as providing people with opportunities they may not have otherwise been presented with pre COVID-19.

Through the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, Dell is connecting female entrepreneurs across the globe with networks, sources of capital, knowledge and technology, giving them the power to do more. Dell and 10 play are proud to bring you inspiring stories and key insights from incredible business leaders across Australia, showcasing the clever and inventive ways in which businesses have had to adapt during the pandemic.