3 Outside-the-Box Ideas to Boost Workplace Flexibility

Greta Cline, CFO
Greta Cline
Partner, CFO/COO
August 24, 2022

Many of today’s workers, especially Millennials and Gen Z, want to find a company that places value on work-life balance. In order to boost workplace flexibility, we’ve got three unique tips for employers to help attract new talent. And with the assistance of That’s Good HR, we can promote these features on our job board to find you the best candidates for your open positions.

1. Consider a compressed workweek

A compressed workweek can be a great way to offer a more flexible schedule to your employees. Using a compressed work schedule, workers usually work longer days in order to have a half or full day off once a week. This might look like four 10-hour workdays rather than five eight-hour days. Companies will still see the same number of hours worked by each employee, but employees will enjoy having an extra day off for additional flexibility to run errands, schedule appointments, etc. 

Another similar workweek change is “summer Fridays” or “half-day Fridays.” Said to have started with New York advertising agencies in the 1960s, this practice allows employees to take a half-day off of work each Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day, or for at least one of the summer months. The practice grew by 43% from 2012 to 2019, with more than half of organizations offering this benefit in 2019. Half-day Fridays have been shown to boost morale, and at least two-thirds of employees who use them report that the practice increases productivity.

2. Set flexible company communication standards

If you are beginning to use a compressed workweek, flexible work schedules, or half-day Fridays, it may be advantageous to set a new company standard for communication. Even without an “official” flexible work schedule, there may be times when someone pulls a late night with overtime. But with a new standard for company communication, coworkers won’t be pressured to reply (or work) outside of their typical hours just because someone else is. 

One way that companies can encourage flexible communication is with Slack, Microsoft Teams or Google Chat. Employees can indicate whether they are fully offline, in flex (near their computer/phone but doing other tasks), or fully available. This will help others know whether to expect an immediate response in the chat or on email, and reduces the pressure for employees to check their email or other communication at all hours. Scheduling emails to send the next day or during regular work hours (especially as someone in leadership) is another great way to reduce the perceived need for an immediate reply.

3. Offer synchronous vacations to boost workplace flexibility

Providing generous paid time off is a good step in the right direction to boost workplace flexibility, but an even better consideration is synchronous vacation. When a whole company closes and its employees are off of work at the same time, it means that the same pressure some people feel to keep working during an individual vacation doesn’t exist. With synchronous vacations, the entire company can return feeling more refreshed, which can improve productivity and employee morale. Many companies use existing holidays to create a synchronous vacation, such as Christmas to New Year’s, or the Fourth of July holiday. 

If you are an employer searching for more ways to boost workplace flexibility at your organization, the client partnership team at That’s Good HR would be happy to help! Reach out to us today so that we can help deliver strategic staffing solutions that work for your company.

HR Insights

What to Include in Your Company’s Telework Policy

Tiffany Moore headshot.
Tiffany Moore
VP, Client Partnerships
March 17, 2022

Thanks to the improvements in technology and the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies than ever have shifted to full or hybrid work-from-home schedules. While there are many benefits to remote work (for employees and managers alike), questions about conduct while at home are likely to come up on both sides. If you need help crafting a telework policy for your Indianapolis organization, the staffing experts at That’s Good HR are here to help with these tips. 

Distributing a telework policy

Ideally, you should offer a telework policy memo to any staff member before they begin working from home either full time or on a hybrid schedule. If you have had a number of employees shift to remote work recently or during the pandemic, it’s still not too late to craft a telework policy for their reference. While many of the items in your policy are likely to be “common sense” or may have already been addressed informally, it is still helpful to have a written document moving forward. 

Outline telework schedules

Your employees’ telework policy should include the times and days of the week that they are expected to be present for remote work and a reminder that all workplace policies remain in place during these times. If you have staff on varied hybrid schedules or shifts, make sure that they have their expected “online” times in writing. Most importantly, teleworkers should be expected to be fully available and communicative during their established work hours. 

Equipment and internet access

If you are providing your remote workers with any equipment, such as a laptop, separate landline/cell phone or any other office supplies, make sure to detail these items in your telework policy. Office equipment should only be used for work purposes, and should not be shared with family or friends. 

Especially if your employees are dealing with high-level client or business information, security from home should also be maintained through regular password updates and locking computers when away from their desks. Those working from home are generally also expected to maintain access to high-speed internet during work hours, and the company’s comfortability with employees working in cafes or other locations should be clearly stated.

Conduct while working from home

Teleworkers are expected to behave at home the same way they would in the office, including maintaining a safe and quiet workspace with the consumption of alcohol not permitted during work hours. If your office hosts frequent virtual meetings with colleagues or clients, make sure to list your expectations for teleworkers. Most companies highly encourage employees to turn on their video, but it does need to be required. Usually, casual dress is acceptable with discretion i.e. no pajamas or other clothing you would not normally wear to the office. Teleworkers should keep distractions to a minimum in order to give full attention as if the meeting were in person.

Speaking of distractions, what about others in the home? The presence of dependents or children in the home is generally not completely prohibited, but employees should not be frequently engaging in the care of others during working hours. Most companies expect teleworkers to have childcare arrangements in place while performing work duties, but offering flexibility during school closure or illnesses will go a long way in improving employee engagement.

If you are looking to hire at your Indianapolis company (either remote or in-person) contact That’s Good HR today at 317-469-4141 for help! We’d love to use our strategic staffing solutions to match you with the best person for the unique needs of your organization. 

Job Advice

Remote Work is Reshaping Recruitment and Hiring

Tiffany Moore headshot.
Tiffany Moore
VP, Client Partnerships
November 8, 2021

3 Tips from That’s Good HR

The rise of technology and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are making remote work more common than ever. As many of us adjusted to working from home in quarantine, a number of companies have made it a priority to implement more part- or full-time remote positions. And as we work remotely, so do we recruit and hire remotely. That’s Good HR has three tips for going through a remote hiring process, whether you’re on the employer or the job seeker side of things.

1. Prepare for remote hiring practices

One of the biggest parts of the hiring process is the interview. Virtual interviews can be nerve-wracking even for the most experienced Zoom user, but when you are prepared there is less that can go wrong. Be sure to test your technology and use the same sense of professionalism you would use in person. If there happens to be a delay in your connection or the call drops, simply start over and explain the issue. Everyone can use a little extra understanding during a virtual interview. 

If you’re the interviewer, prepare for your meeting by looking over the applicant’s resume and any other materials they have sent you. Virtual interviews are generally more cost-effective since you can fit more of them into your day, but don’t let your volume of meetings make them impersonal for your applicants. If you are the interviewee, prepare by researching the company and/or the person you are meeting with. And another benefit of a virtual interview is that you’re in your own home instead of an unfamiliar office space — so use that to your advantage and try to relax as much as possible.

2. Offer remote working benefits

Speaking of benefits, employee benefits can make or break a job offer, and the same is true for remote workers. Obviously, you’ll want to see all the usual benefits in a new job description (PTO, insurance, 401k) but a remote position can include additional and unique benefits. As an employer, you can highlight the flexible schedule that remote work offers. Let applicants know if there is a daily block of time or a weekly meeting for which they should plan to be available, but other than that their schedule should be their own to create. 

Likewise, for job seekers, let your interviewer know if there are times you are likely to be unavailable (such as for your child’s school drop-off) or a certain time of day when you put in your best work. Other benefits that often come with remote positions can include stipends to set up a home office or to rent a coworking space, stipends or reimbursement for technology and internet costs, access to online professional development, and virtual team activities or happy hours.

3. Adjust job descriptions for remote work

Not sure how to write a job description for remote work as an employer? We can help! Make sure that the job title is as specific as possible, and either set your location as “remote” or include keywords that make it obvious that yours is a remote position. Clearly state the remote nature of this role: Are you willing to hire from any time zone? From outside the U.S.? Is it fully remote or will you require certain days per week or month in the office? And be sure to include those perks we discussed above in the job benefits section!

As a job seeker, you may want to adjust your resume to indicate that you are interested in remote work. You could include in your personal summary statement whether you are open to remote work as an option or only seeking a remote position. And though your mailing address is usually one of the standards on a resume template, it may not be necessary if you’re applying exclusively to remote jobs, aside from perhaps indicating your current time zone.

If you are in need of help with employer recruiting or finding a new position as a job seeker, reach out to the staffing experts at That’s Good HR online or at 317-469-4141!