Making Flexible Work Arrangements a Success

Tips for employees to make flexible work arrangements work.

11 Feb 2020 Articles Work-life harmony Best practices

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Whether you are an employee who is new to flexible work arrangements (FWAs), or have been using it for some time, it is in your best interest to make it work for yourself and your employer. Here are some tips to make the most of your FWAs. 

If you are new to FWAs:

  1. Work with your supervisor 
    Being on FWAs could mean that your supervisor does not physically see you working. This heightens the need to demonstrate that you are competent in delivering your expected objectives, targets and key performance indicators. Start by working with your supervisor to develop a set of clearly defined and objective performance benchmarks and expectations upfront. Be responsible and proactive in providing regular updates on your work progress. You should also request for regular feedback sessions with your supervisors (e.g. at least once a week for the first few weeks of being on the FWA) to iron out any teething problems. At this point, it is likely that adjustments will be made to the arrangement to better suit you and the organisation's business needs. 

  2. Give colleagues some time to adjust 
    Similarly, keep in mind that your colleagues will need time to get used to your new schedule. You may have to consistently remind them of your new work arrangement and be clear about your inability to attend a meeting if your schedule conflicts, for example if you are on a compressed work week arrangement and a meeting is scheduled on your non-working day. 

    Try creating a shared calendar to keep track on the various FWAs the team is on - this also helps to develop a clearer understanding of how and when to contact one another.

  3. Be adaptable
    Do recognise that flexibility is a two-way street - both you and your team have to be adaptable. As much as your team tries to work around your new schedule in arranging meetings and discussions, you should also take the initiative to make adjustments and attend key meetings in office on days that you may not be working from the office. 

If you have been on flex arrangement for some time:

  1. Keep it consistent
    You may be in a situation or life stage that requires you to work different configurations of working hours in a week. To avoid disruptions and allow for better resource planning, make it a point to be as consistent as possible in scheduling your commitments (e.g. medical appointments), and keep your supervisor and team updated if there are deviations

  2. Have the right mindset
    Organisations offer FWAs as they understand that employees have other commitments and responsibilities outside of work; and trust that they will use it responsibly to manage them. Being on FWAs for a prolonged period, you may find yourself treating it as a given. Keep in mind that being on FWAs is not an entitlement, and continued efforts must be put in for the arrangement to continue to be successful in the long term.