Can you measure the impact of employee benefits?

In a sea of Employee Benefits providers at recent conference in London (EB Connect) you would think that a smart engagement platform such as Motivii would be somewhat out of place? Motivii does not provide employees with reasonably priced cars, health care insurance, a gym pass or other “employee benefits”.

So why did we attend? What connects Motivii with Employee Benefits providers such as Tusker, GymPass and Vitality?

Ultimately benefits are given to employees to make them feel more valued, add additional perks to the role, motivate people to work harder, stay with the company longer and improve productivity. However, with all the benefits that a modern employee get, measuring the impact these benefits is a nightmare; especially when different benefits motivate different employees in different ways.  One size does not fit all, and so far there has been no way to measure what “fits” different types of employees. Stereotypically, Millennials may be more interested in a gym pass and a TasteCard, whereas baby boomers might be more geared towards smart eye care and private health care. How can employers know what suits their employees without measuring this?

This is where a bit like Google Analytics measuring digital marketing, Motivii could help measure the impact that these benefits have on employees.

Our solution is simple: to understand the effect of benefits you have to ask your employees about them: frequently and in a democratic way.

This can’t be done through a show of hands or a flimsy survey question but rather there needs to be a smart automated ‘continuous listening process’ that can track impact engagement and motivation over time.

At Motivii, we can map and monitor the impact of employee benefits through encouraging employees to complete a weekly review, where they log in their motivation and focus levels for the week. They are asked what their top 3 highlights and challenges were and what they want to focus on the next week. Similarly they answer 2-3 pulse questions each week that are inspired by Gallup and Great Place to Work questions.

Organisations can add custom questions, such as “what do you think of benefit X?” or “what benefits would you like to see?” But, importantly, Motivii provides you with a platform where you can understand the impact that the benefit has on employees by looking at sentiment, engagement, word cloud analysis around the time of implementing the benefit.

Importantly this integrated smart engagement platform allows companies to monitor over time how their teams are doing before and after employee benefits have been implemented with very little admin or having to “send out a survey”.

We are excited to be working with a few of these benefits providers and their clients to better quantify what benefits have the maximum impact on your employees. Our suggestion is that organisations need to not just look at the benefit but also how they measure the impact of that benefit. Similarly we see a future where benefits providers can show future prospects the measurable impact of their particular service.

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8 Ways You Can Learn To Love Your Job – Even When You Absolutely Hate It

It’s that time of year again, the 14th February, or in other words… Valentine’s Day. A day that celebrates love. Whether you’re jumping at the chance to surprise someone with chocolates, or cursing all the loved up couples whilst crying alone into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, nobody can deny that celebrating love is something simple and sweet.

But why should February 14th be restricted to those in the thralls of romantic bliss?

Whatever our plans are this evening, it’s likely that on this Tuesday we’ll be stuck at work until they happen. In fact, the average person will spend around one third of their life working. What’s more, the annual Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For awards are coming up next week, full of companies with employees that love their jobs and really enjoy going to work. That’s great for them, but what about those who aren’t so lucky? Here are 8 ways we can learn to love our jobs that little bit more..

 

1. Think about what you enjoy at work… and ramp it up

 

Focusing on the areas of your job that you really do enjoy will give you the strength to get through the less enjoyable parts. Whether that may be the flexible work hours, the interesting projects, opportunities for development or the great bunch of colleagues you work with, focus on these areas and try to embrace them even more.

 

2. Make a change, however big or small

The root of employee unhappiness is often boredom. Instead of lulling around spending time feeling sorry for yourself and thinking about how bored you are, take the plunge and modify what’s getting you down. Start challenging yourself and think, “What would give me more joy at work?” And then make it happen. Be persistent in adding worth to what you bring to your job, and it’s likely your boss will notice and reward you for it.

 

3. Volunteer – either through your work, or on the side

Volunteering can help you to escape the dramas and negativity in your own life, and allow you to gain perspective on the needs of others less fortunate. If your employer initiates the volunteering it can help to build relationships amongst co-workers, as you work together to make a difference.

 

4. Keep up to speed with your field of expertise

Don’t get left behind in your chosen industry. Becoming complacent may mean that when interesting opportunities arise at work, you may not be adept enough to grab them. Read trade publications or set up a Google Alert that tells you about news in your industry. Remaining in the know, and up to date with industry trends, may empower you to come up with your own projects that you can start. Plus it means you can really own your area of the business, and people (including your boss) will come to you when they need knowledge or advice about something.

5. Take the plunge and ask for more duties

Think about your current position and dissect it in order to identify a new responsibility that will challenge and excite you. Listen to conversations carefully and make sure you’re aware of any upcoming projects or positions that you can put your name in for. Say yes to new assignments. If all else fails and you can’t think of any yourself, or aren’t aware of any upcoming, then schedule a meeting with your manager and ask them. It’s likely they might not be aware that your task load is thin, and they’ll welcome the fact that you’re showing your initiative and demonstrating interest in your work.

 

6. Declutter your desk, then create your own office nest

If your office space is messy and overwhelming it can make employees feel low on energy. Clear out as you go. Take rubbish out of overflowing drawers and declutter your mail inbox. It’s liberating and empowering, and it will allow you to go on to create your own office nest. We spend so much time at work it’s important we try to make our own area as enjoyable as we can. Make your space your own by decorating your area with photos of loved ones, and make yourself as comfortable and relaxed as you can be.

 

7. Move around more

Most of us are likely to work in an office and stay seated for the majority of the day. This can cause us to feel sluggish, and also may contribute to health concerns such as weight gain, heart disease or eye strain. Find time to go on a short walk, run up and down your stairs, take a quick gym class (where possible), or stand up and do a short 10 minute exercise. This short break will not only benefit your health but will put you in a better place mood-wise as well, helping you to enjoy the rest of your day more.

 

8. Finally, smile and laugh more

Smiling and laughing are so simple, but really can help us to enjoy work more. They tell your brain to be more happy by releasing neuropeptides. A recent Gallup study discovered that those who smile and laugh more at work are more engaged with their job. Improving engagement will mean you’re generally happier and more enthusiastic, and people will be more likely to want to have you on their team. At the end of the day most of our troubles at work are quite trivial, so try not to be so serious; couldn’t we all use a laugh anyway?

Want to find out more about how you can love your job? Visit our website www.motivii.com or follow us on Twitter @getmotivii  

Setting objectives- a phenomena not just for January

So, we have left 2016- a year harangued by celebrity deaths and seismic political shifts, but have you taken the time to reflect on how it went for you? Did you achieve what you set out to, did you set any goals at all?

It might be almost half way through January,  but there is no time like the present to address your goals and objectives for now and the rest of 2017.

How do you want to succeed and progress as a person and in your career?

Start by pinpointing exactly what you want from work and how you can get there efficiently. Understanding what you want from your actions, and what you will gain, may be the first steps to actually getting there.

Make goals Specific

We set hard aspirational goals for ourselves that are often too broad to be attainable . But as David Kadevy reasoned “the bigger the goal the easier it is to give up on it.”

In light of this it may be useful to break our big goal down into smaller more specific objectives. Starting with specific and easy to achieve goals we can form goal completing habits that can be transferred into bigger objectives at a later date. Kadevy wanted to write a novel and was so overwhelmed by the prospect of it that he broke it down into writing a 100 words every day. The easier the goal, the more ridiculous it is to make excuses not to do it.

Big things happen because of small things, which means that if all you do is “go big,” you’ll never actually get to your goal.- Jeff Rodman, Polycom

For instance my larger goal may be to improve digital marketing at Motivii, but by breaking it down into smaller objectives over the course of the next three months I am more likely to reach my goal. For example, ‘Get clicks to the website up by 50% in three months time’, or ‘get 1,000 more followers on twitter by next March,’ or ‘get an article about Motivii on a well read online magazine’. The possibilities of these larger goals are endless but when broken down into bite-size steps that I can review and reflect on each week I am more likely to achieve them.

Set a time frame

Objectives may be long term goals or short term goals, but without setting a specific time period we often don’t follow through with our objectives. This might be signing up to do a half marathon in six months or completing a work-related project. Setting a time frame means that we HAVE to complete our objectives by a certain date – keeping us both motivated and accountable for our objectives. 

Share it with your manager

Studies show that when you share your objectives and goals with colleagues or managers you are more accountable for the outcome of them. Not only do you make promises to yourself, psychologically in your mind you’ve made promises to them too! Managers and mentors can be great supporters, especially if they have experience in your field and what you are working towards. Often when sharing your goals with your managers they become your biggest cheerleaders.

Making personal objectives that aren’t directly to do with work can help influence your work life and vice versa. Whether it’s going to the gym three times a week or getting clarinet lessons; setting up personal habits can help form good habits in the workplace.

Don’t forget to track the progress of your objectives and mark them off as done when you have completed them!

Ps. With Motivii you can now set objectives!

How to get that Christmas feeling all year round

Teams work well together around Christmas time, with busy social events and work to push for by the end of the year. The tight lipped conformity gets replaced with brandy and christmas sweetness. Yet why should the festive cheer and togetherness end after Christmas?

There may well be twelve days of Christmas, but there are also 12 months in the year…

Here are 3 tips to create that momentum all year round.

  1. Encourage rebellion and curiosity among your team

Conformity and monotony can kill the cat at work. Moving away from clear career trajectories for your employees can create impetus for change and innovation. Inspire new employees not to concentrate on just performance and career-led goals, but also to focus their attention on learning new knowledge and skills. A more well rounded employee who can code, and also help with marketing, will be more beneficial in the long run.

As Francesca Gino writes in HBR: “Of course, not all conformity is bad. But to be successful and evolve, organizations need to strike a balance between adherence to the formal and informal rules that provide necessary structure and the freedom that helps employees do their best work.”

Staleness in a company can not only encourage malaise among your workforce but also kill the company itself. In order for companies to survive they need to embrace uniqueness and adaptability. We only have to compare the likes of Apple and Google with the failures of Polaroid and Blackberry to see that moving away from the status quo into unchartered territory can help drive creativity among your team, and prevent the business from stagnating and revenue plateauing.

Celebrate unstructured work and rebellion amongst your workforce. For example, some CEOs allow developers to have a “create” week, where they go to work and they are allowed to use their skills to develop new things, not necessarily towards the product, but in the hope that it will ignite new curiosities and things they can add to the future.

By developing rebellion and curiosity in your team you can allow your employees to define their own mission, which in turn can help towards your mission as a team and as a company.

  1. Promote proactivity

Team building and away days can be seen as a routine Christmas present, but sport and physical activity amongst your team is important in and out of the office.

No one needs to be reminded of the benefits it does for health and productivity, but what really matters is how it can help your team increase general engagement and develop together.  

One of our plans for Motivii in the New Year is to take meetings outside the office, such as a walk around the park or the Thames river. One way you can do it is to convert your (rectangle) meeting table into a pop up table tennis table and play a quick game or tournament when concentration inevitably lulls on a Thursday afternoon.

3. Social events

Everyone looks forward to the Christmas party because it is a time for employees and managers to let down their hair down and gorge on mince pies and cheap red wine. But why should communication and engagement begin and end with the christmas party?

Organising breakfast and lunchtime catch ups can create an environment in which conversation is allowed and encouraged. Similarly if you promote flexible or remote working, social events can replace the much famed water cooler moments.

Moreover, it can be a good way to bind a team and know what they are up to outside of work. This doesn’t just mean relying on pub drinks every Friday, which can get repetitive.

By engaging your staff in finding out what they want to do, whether it be through an online poll or feedback session,  you might find that as a group you all like Indian food and/or have a shared love for Star Wars. The possibilities are endless, but inevitably if you never ask you will never know.  

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

We are almost at the end of 2016… some may be happy to see it go. A year harangued by celebrity deaths and seismic political shifts, but have you taken the time to reflect on how it went for you? Did you achieve what you set out to, did you set any goals at all? Now it is time to look to the future of 2017…How do you want to succeed and progress as a person and in your career?

Start by pinpointing exactly what you want from work and how you can get there efficiently. Understanding what you want from your actions, and what you will gain, may be the first steps to actually getting there.

Make goals Specific

We set hard aspirational goals for ourselves that are often too broad to be attainable . But as David Kadevy reasoned “the bigger the goal the easier it is to give up on it.”

In light of this it may be useful to break our big goal down into smaller more specific objectives. Starting with specific and easy to achieve goals we can form goal completing habits that can be transferred into bigger objectives at a later date.

For instance my larger goal may be to improve digital marketing at Motivii, but by breaking it down into smaller objectives over the course of the next three months I am more likely to reach my goal. For example, ‘Get clicks to the website up by 50% in three months time’, or ‘get 1,000 more followers on twitter by next March,’ or ‘get an article about Motivii on a well read online magazine’.

The possibilities of these larger goals are endless but when broken down, although they are not “easy,” they are measurable and achievable.

Big things happen because of small things, which means that if all you do is “go big,” you’ll never actually get to your goal.- Jeff Rodman, Polycom

Select a time frame

Similarly objectives may be long term goals or short term goals, but without setting a specific time period we often don’t follow through with our objectives. Setting a time frame means that we HAVE to complete our objectives by a certain date – keeping us both motivated and accountable for our objectives.

Share it with your manager

Studies show that when you share your objectives and goals with colleagues or managers you are more accountable for the outcome of them. Not only do you make promises to yourself, psychologically in your mind you’ve made promises to them too! Managers and mentors can be great supporters, especially if they have experience in your field and what you are working towards. Often when sharing your goals with your managers they become your biggest cheerleaders.

Making personal objectives that aren’t directly to do with work can help influence your work life and vice versa. Whether it’s going to the gym three times a week or getting clarinet lessons; setting up personal habits can help form good habits in the workplace.

Don’t forget to track the progress of your objectives and mark them off as done when you have completed them!

The Secret to Engaging Millennials – the Most Dominant Generation in the Workforce

In 2015, the ‘Millennials’ (those born between 1980 and the mid 1990’s) over-took the ‘Baby Boomers’ in population, making them the largest generation in Western history. The first generation to grow up alongside the rise of technology meaning they have no experience of a world where mobile phones, internet, cameras, blogs, or email did not exist. Their view of the world is fundamentally different to their predecessors; a smaller, interconnected global community where anyone anywhere is reachable. They also possess a high degree of technical savvy in the modern day’s fast paced, digital-fuelled society, and are accustomed to fast communication.

More and more Millennials enter the workforce each year. In fact Deloitte predicts that in ten years time 70% of the workforce will be Millennials. Business executives, CEO’s, HR professionals, marketers and managers all over the world are therefore keen to learn about Millennials behaviours and beliefs, because the strength of the marketplace depends heavily on what this generation can achieve. If they are not engaged at work then the profitability, productivity and innovation at their company will suffer. What’s concerning is that the Millennials are the least engaged generation to date; Gallup estimates that only 29% are engaged with their jobs. They’ve also grown accustomed to looking for job options elsewhere if their current job isn’t giving them compelling reasons to stay. This is a costly characteristic of the generation; Millennial turnover costs the US economy an estimated $30.5 billion a year (Gallup).

So how do we keep Millennials engaged and loyal to their current employer? Gallup’s How Millennials Want to Live and Work report found that performance management and a constant focus on regular feedback is a huge contributor and pays large dividends in engagement and performance.

Interestingly, 44% of millennial workers who meet regularly with their manager and give and receive frequent feedback are engaged, compared to just 20% that do not. This is a massive disparity, and illustrates how something so simple as regular feedback and meetings can drastically improve engagement amongst the workforce. In turn, higher engagement levels also lead to a host of other benefits including improved customer ratings, higher profitability and productivity, lower turnover, fewer safety incidents and lower absenteeism. Being strict with regular catch-ups with Millennials, or using fast-feedback tools (hint: Motivii) will drive engagement and ultimately allow businesses to reap the benefits amongst other factors company-wide.

In summary, Millennials have grown up with the ability to communicate with anyone instantly, and so they are much more likely to expect it in the workforce. The more conversations Millennials have with their manager, the more engaged they will become; these two components have become intrinsically linked. Businesses need to acknowledge this and those that do not listen, and still rely on annual or infrequent staff surveys and meetings, will fall behind as Millennials increasingly dominate the workforce.

How to create “Zen” in the office

Autumn Season 2/3-Had enough of feeling stuffy and unproductive in the office?

Here are 6 tips to create a zen feeling in the office…

  1. Air quality

Studies have shown that good natural ventilation can do wonders for performance. The World Green Council found that better air quality in the office can improve productivity levels from around 8%, to 11%. Natural air is not only good for health but also can be part of a greener incentive for your office.

2.Good Lighting

Poor lighting has been seen as a detrimental to the health of your employees and their mental health. A report from the university of Groningen found that Workplace lighting can, “in addition to providing sufficient light to conduct work-related visual tasks, affect employees’ alertness, mood, cognition, sleep-wake pattern and health”

3.Foliage

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Of course good design is a must, but in the day and age of startups and being constantly strapped for cash a plant or two can go a long way. Embracing natural surroundings and a “wall of plants” can do wonders for uplifting moods, as well as producing much needed oxygen for the stuffy office. Similarly, and perhaps far more interestingly, plants can absorb noise and refract sound through their stems. Instead of using office partitions consider using screen plants.

4.Declutter

Our offices becomes smaller as our love for kitschy items and technology increases.  However, the issue isn’t the space it is how we intend on using it.

  • Divide the workspace into zones and defined areas. The same with your desk.
  • Try and stop the catch-all cupboard or drawer filled with wires, pens, and old batteries that stopped working three months ago
  • Streamline your desktop so that when you start the new day fresh you are not bombarded with icons and clutter

5.Create a Break out area

Designate an area that is to be unassociated with work; it could be a place to do some reading, to eat lunch or for catching up with colleagues. This encourages employees to eat lunch away from their desk, and to be creative in a less constrained environment.

6.Promote proactivity

Organise half an hour football sessions, or turn your meeting table into a table tennis table. Sushi Friday and Latte Wednesdays may be useful to create connections in the office, but make sure they don’t become repetitive or sidelined for seemingly more important issues. The possibilities for work activities are endless and by communicating with your employees you can find out what they want to do to relax or ways in which you can reignite concentration when there are the inevitable lulls in the working week.

How to get that ‘Hygge’ feeling in the office?

 

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Autumnal series part 1 of 3

Hygge; the intrinsic feeling of satisfaction and well-being that Scandinavian’s do so well with their mindset and interior design.  Hailing from Denmark with many different meanings and interpretations, pronouncing it like “hug” sounds appropriate. Yet with the autumnal leaves falling and the slow malaise of winter arriving now may be a good time to bring a bit of Hygge into the office.

How can you make your workplace more Hygge and become a hyggeligt manager?

1.Communication

Talk to your employees about what they want in the office and how they want the office to run. Showing that you care and consider their thoughts is not only good for morale but performance as well.  You want to make your employees feel like they can be at home while at  work.

As Zrinka Lovrencic, Managing Director of workplace and consulting firm Great Places To Work Australia, said a great workplace is one where you trust the people you work for, have pride in what you do and enjoy the people you work with”

But creating this vibe at work is difficult unless you talk to your employees and gage how they are feeling.

2.Feedback to one another..

Don’t be another H.I.P.P.O* in the room. By moving away from top-down to two-way communication you can discuss things that may never have entered your brain or theirs. You can also find out when things are working in the office and when things are not.

As Claude Levi-Strauss said ‘The wise man doesn’t give the right answers he poses the right question’

3.Be flexible… But also set guidelines.

People work at different paces and in different ways. Asking them how they want to work may be beneficial for their productivity. People can be present, but also absent. If one of your employees is suffering from major brainblock/ pumpkin hangover let them go. But set guidelines, letting them know that the day after they are going to be working off the pumpkin pie in the office.

By embracing flexibility as  a manager you can focus more on output rather than hours, which creates a culture of productivity and performance rather than the daily dredge.

*HiPPO- highest paid person’s opinion

In summary, before you focus on Sushi Fridays and Pumpkin Spiced Latte Mondays, focus on the emotional wellbeing of your colleagues first and communicate with them about what they want.

Part 2 out of 3 on pimping your office in Zen style coming soon!

 

Understanding the buzz around employee engagement

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What is employee engagement and how can you improve it?

Here are some quick and easy to follow thoughts…

What is employee engagement?

According to Wikipedia, an engaged employee is one that is absorbed and fully enthusiastic about their work and takes action to better their organisation’s reputation and interests.

Gallup has found that 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged at work, and disengaged employees equal costly outcomes. However, companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share (Gallup).  Better employee engagement makes companies 21% more profitable and improves rates of absenteeism, customer ratings and less safety incidents.

So HOW can you improve it?

Being an engaging manager…

  • Listen

Being a good listener is tough; many people think they are good listeners without considering what it means to actually “listen”. Often in conversations we are waiting to talk rather than actually listening to what people have to say. Similarly, being silent while someone is talking does not mean we are engaging with what they are saying. Creating a two way dialogue and prompting questions can lead to discovery and more cooperative conversations.

As a manager being available for one-to-ones and group conversations shows that you care about your employees and are available to talk to them about any challenges they are facing. Being an approachable and authentic manager means that you can engage with your direct reports about their future in the workplace.

  • Set personalised goals for each employee

Creating personalised goals allows employees to find a way to give their own contribution to your business. Collaboratively setting goals moves away from top-down management. Personal goals look towards career development but also give focus for day to day work.

People on average spend 43.6 hours at work a week, averaging on more than 8 hours a day. With so much time spent at work, working for a purpose has never garnered so much importance.  As Gallup has found, 50% of millennials said that they would take a pay cut in order to have purpose in work.

  • Create meaningful conversations

Create a structured plan for meetings which provide clarity on any loose ends. One recommendation is setting out a 3 pronged structure for meetings with a beginning, middle and end, and making sure that meetings do not drag on and are appropriately “wrapped” up. Focusing on strengths-based development instills confidence through praise. Gallup finds that sales increase by 19% for strengths-based development workplaces. By focusing on employees strengths, the manager is actively engaging with their employees. Sometimes it is up to managers to guide employees to unlock their strengths or teach them how to use them.

  • Consider.. management training

Managing human beings, both introverts and extroverts, with a wide range of skills can be overwhelming. Often managers become managers because they are the best in their field,  yet many are not taught to manage. On average managers only get training in leadership skills ten years after they first became managers (Zenger Folkman). Often this is too late, and bad managerial habits have set in from the first year. Zenger argues that bad managerial traits are contagious and can lead to the formation of good habits or bad habits. His studies found that there is strong correlation between the behaviour of a manager and the impact on their subordinates in terms of their leading styles. Poor leadership can encourage a culture of dissatisfaction and disengagement among employees. A solution to safeguarding against dissatisfied employees is an investment in leadership training for managers and senior leaders.

Ditching Employee engagement surveys…

Deloitte’s 2016 Human Capital Trends highlighted that 85 per cent of executives surveyed pinpointed employee engagement as a top priority for 2016. Yet, there are better ways to listen to your employees than through timely, expensive surveys. Engagement surveys can be regarded as a de-personalised drop in the ocean.

As Liz Ryan candidly put in a Forbes article:

“How close would you feel to your spouse or partner if they gave you a survey to complete once a year, in order to let them know how you feel the relationship is going? You probably wouldn’t love that idea. Relationships don’t thrive because one party to the relationship sends the other party a survey to complete.”

Surveys are a mechanical process sending out a message to employees that their views on the workplace can be quantified once a year, in a bureaucratic fashion. It sends out the message that their job can be categorised into a few sections. Many employees never see the true results of surveys and find that giving feedback only once a year is not indicative of how they are feeling throughout the year and at different quarters.

stickie-engagement Arguably there is no silver bullet for employee engagement. However managers and their leadership styles should be at the forefront for engaging employees at a localised level and also in terms of the culture of the feedback system in the organisation.

Can you ‘flex’ as a manager?

 ‘Flexible’ or ‘agile’ working has been heralded as the new way to create efficient workplaces and retain key talent. By switching up the locations for the daily grind, workers can get more out of their daily work and this can create a more creative and enjoyable work/life balance.

However, how much flexibility do you give your employees? How do you balance creating a high performing team while giving employees the flexibility they want

Here are a few tips to help you ride the flexible working wave and ensure that your team is both productive and motivated.

  1. Rules

For flexible working to function properly there has to be clear detailed rules which everyone in the office agrees on. One of the principles of flexible working is to move away from the ‘hub’ (the conventional office) to the home and roaming (which is anywhere that isn’t the office or home).This allows employees to work in their favourite café like their 20th-century Parisian heroes or at home watching urban foxes in their tiny garden, this can do wonders for mental wellbeing but without some careful managing can create a disconnect between manager and team.

However, what if everyone worked from home every Monday and Tuesday the working week would go off to a slow start. We would recommend creating a plan, where all employees need to be in the office for key meeting and team building exercises.

  1. Keep your team updated

Keeping your team in the know about the direction the company is going in, whether it be in the long term or the short term, can be difficult. Flexible working might make this even more challenging, especially when you aren’t sharing the same air in the office. Managers cannot rely on guesswork to understand how employees are doing and vice versa with employees and the company. Online collaboration tools can be an interesting and advanced way in keeping in touch and making sure that everyone is on the same page.

  1. Flexible working makes weekly team meetings even more important: Without passing your fellow colleagues in the corridor or on the way to lunch it is difficult to know how exactly your team is doing. Flexible working can impact each individual in a different way and is important for teams to come together to discuss it. Team meetings also encourage employees to reflect on how their week was and take a few minutes to address their own productivity.

Weekly team meetings can be used as a brilliant way to check in with your team members and to set objectives with them, within specific timeframes.

  1. Keep your team creative and innovative

Some employees may express that they find it challenging working in alternative locations and miss the ‘water-cooler moments’ at work or even the physical community of working together in an office. It may be difficult to create or maintain social connections. As a manager you can organise creative meetings outside the office and non-work related social events. Keeping your team connected allows them to bounce ideas off each other and work together to find solutions for problems.

  1. Embracing smarter work/ life balance

Flexible working represents the movement towards a “smarter” view of work. Be careful to make sure that flexible working does not become an excuse for employees to be constantly on-call or for them to do nothing at all. Setting defined working hours for each individual separates work from home life but also gives guidelines for productivity.

In summary, to make flexible work “work”, you need to embrace giving employees more options and the technology they need to make the transition work. However, employees also need to understand the flexible working does not mean they just do what they want, they need to keep to some simple rules to ensure that work is truly flexible rather than brittle.