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Best Practices for Transitioning to a Flexible Working Structure - Our Guide

As the years go by long after the start of their company, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners are faced with a startling reality that their younger selves never realized: there’s a lot more to life than work.

Whether it’s for taking care of the kids or investing in a new hobby, there are several reasons that SME business owners take on a juggling act that balances work duties and responsibilities to themselves. Fortunately, recent developments in the workplace have allowed business owners to skip the “one-or-the-other” approach in regards to balancing their professional and personal lives.

With the help of a flexible working structure, SME business owners and employees have been able to maximize their personal lives without having to compromise their ability to contribute to the overall growth of their business. With flexible working, however, SMEs may find a bit of difficulty with finding a middle ground that allows their employees to live their best lives without sacrificing productivity. Although every employee may be a lot happier with a flexible working schedule, the task of organizing staffing and rolling out consistent work becomes more challenging.

The benefits of a flexible working structure

By making a few tweaks and adding certain working practices, meeting the challenges of running a flexible work structure can lead to various benefits, such as (but not limited to):

  • Higher levels of employee morale and engagement

  • Increased productivity rates

  • Improved rates of employee turnover

  • Greater high-quality prospect attraction

  • Lower levels of absenteeism

Tips for transitioning

Implementing a flexible workplace, however, is easier said than done. To ensure that a flexible structure in your SME business isn’t ineffective or causes your employees to be lax, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Prioritize implementing any flexible working practices that your employees seek

A common error that most SME business owners tend to make is that they implement a “flexible” working structure without actually knowing what type of flexibility their employees want. The term “flexible working” itself is an immensely-broad term that covers everything from job shares and part-time working to remote work, so it’s best to narrow it down.

Asking your employees what type of flexible working practices they may be looking for can help you get started on the right foot during the planning process to ensure that it works both ways.

2. Develop and implement a fair and consistent approach to flexible working

One reason that allows small business accountants to succeed with a flexible working structure is the constant implementation of a fair and consistent approach to avoid any negativity. Although it may be difficult to maintain at first, having a fair and consistent approach to flexible working can be easily made by implementing shifts or slots for every employee to work at home.

3. Use technology as much as possible in flexible working

When used effectively and with discipline, modern technologies, such as smartphones, high-tech home computers, and faster broadband connections, can help with flexible working. Upon consulting with a small business accountant for your SME’s move to adopt a flexible working structure, you may be told to invest in technology to ease the transition process significantly. Investing in the necessary technology can help with ensuring that your employees can maintain productivity outside of the office as best as possible.

The flexible working structure is often positively received by almost every small business accountant for a variety of reasons, such as lower costs and greater levels of productivity for profit. Before you implement a flexible working structure in your own business, consider the three tips above to ensure that the transition runs smoothly.

If you’re looking for a small business accountant in Australia, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.

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