The traditional methods of work may increase stress and imbalance in the life of your team members. Each team member is unique, and providing different work options will allow the members of your team to choose the method that helps them be their most productive and maintain their balance. While it may not be possible to provide every option, allowing for different work styles on your team will improve company culture and promote balance. Each option comes with its own pros and cons, so examine them carefully before choosing a new way to work.
Given the way we use technology, telecommuting is a popular work option. This allows people to work from home and send their projects in when they are due.
- Cost: Companies can reduce overhead and other costs by allowing teams to work from home.
- Productivity: Team members who work from home are often more productive.
- Lowers stress: Many team members benefit from losing morning commutes and distracting office team mates.
- Personal control: Team members who work from home are able to take responsibility for their own schedules.
- Communication: When all communication is electronic, team members may not communicate as well as they can face-to-face. Additionally, a lack of social interaction can isolate team members and stunt company culture.
- Motivation: Team members who are not self-driven need more accountability than telecommuting offers.
- Longer hours: Some people work longer hours when they telecommute because there is no distinction between work and home.
Job sharing is a popular option that allows team members to balance their work and home lives. This technique allows two team members to share a job, with each one working part-time hours.
- Better attendance: When team members have the time to handle personal matters, they are less likely to miss work.
- Continuity: With two team members sharing a job, there is always someone to come in and cover for a sick employee.
- Morale: Team members who are able to find work life balance have better morale and productivity.
- Conflict: Team members who want to be in control may not enjoy having an equal share their responsibilities. This can cause conflicts between job sharers.
- Inequality: If one team member is more effective than the other, that team member may shoulder too much responsibility.
- More paper work: Team members have to double the paperwork for shared jobs.
Sometimes it is necessary to redesign a team member’s position to alleviate stress. This requires analyzing and changing the scope and responsibilities of the position in a way that will motivate the team member and improve their work life balance.
- Content: Discover what information leads to problems at work.
- Information: Analyze job information to find inconsistencies.
- Elements: Change the elements of the job.
- Description: Rewrite the job description.
- Responsibilities: Refocus responsibilities based on the description.
Flex time does not alter the number of hours team members work, but it does give them the flexibility to choose when they work. For example, a team member may choose to come at 7:00 am and leave at 4:00 pm to spend time with family.
- Productivity: Team members are more productive when they know that they will be able to take care of their other obligations.
- Morale: Everyone’s internal clock is different. Team members are happier when they can work at their optimal times.
- Difficult to manage: Managers may have trouble coordinating team meetings when everyone works different hours.
- Miscommunications: It is easy to forget to communicate ideas with team members who have already left for the day.