Flexible work conditions
There are times when your staff will have special circumstances that affect their work. To help them, you can consider:
- flexible hours
- job sharing
- purchased leave
- carer's leave
- child care arrangements.
Being flexible with your work conditions will:
- attract skilled and motivated staff
- increase trust and respect
- reduce stress levels
- improve staff morale and commitment
- allow you to better match workloads with staffing
- reduce absenteeism and staff turnover
- retain older skilled staff
- create a more diverse workforce.
While flexible work options may seem difficult to implement, they don't have to be expensive or radical and they do need to work for your business.
Assess the needs
Consult with your staff individually, at staff meetings or by a survey so that you develop options that suit them and your business. You can also interview staff who are leaving to find out if there are gaps in your work conditions.
Understand your options
Consider the range of flexible work conditions along with what you already have in place.
- Flexible hours - Flexible start and finish times, part time work, job sharing, compressed hours.
- Flexible leave - Leave in single days, leave without pay, extended or special leave.
- Purchased leave – Salary reduction over 52 weeks to give staff more annual leave.
- Working from home - For staff who may find it difficult to come into the workplace, such as disabled or injured workers, mature age staff, carers and people living remotely.
Work out the logistics
Consider the logistics of any conditions you offer.
- Look at workloads, staff communication, staff meetings, emergency situations and access to training.
- Watch for negative perceptions.
- Develop workplace policies and procedures to manage flexible work conditions.
- Document individual arrangements.
- Check if current awards, agreements or contracts allow for flexible work conditions.
Implement new conditions
Put in place flexible work conditions with care.
- Have a trial period to 'test drive' how the conditions work in practice.
- Consult regularly with staff so issues can be addressed as they arise.
Monitor and evaluate
Review new arrangements after a period of time.
- See if individual and team goals have been met.
- Ask for confidential feedback from staff.
- Make adjustments if there have been any negative impacts on business or other staff.
- Consider additional training or resources to better support flexible conditions.
Make sure flexible work arrangements work well.
- Foster a culture where everyone respects the right to work under flexible conditions.
- Offer flexible work conditions fairly, giving all staff equal access.