The pandemic changed how we work forever. At this point, this is pretty obvious to those across many industries, especially those industries that lend themselves to remote working. Despite the ongoing debate surrounding remote work, the data doesn’t lie: people want flexibility. Our research in Mexico’s tech ecosystem, for example, has revealed that technology professionals in that country prefer working from home by a large percent and many of them prefer flexible working arrangements.
The United States is not the only region that implemented remote work and changed working models. All throughout Latin America, remote work, hybrid work, and flexible work became all the rage, especially in industries such as technology, consulting, and other knowledge-based work.
According to Atlantico’s LATAM Digital Report 2022, software developers are no longer open to working -in-office. The report shows that most industries have increased their levels of remote work. Consulting and technology sectors were the highest adopters of these work models. In our Mexico Tech Salaries Report 2023, for example, we detail just how popular remote work is among the tech community. Our survey indicated Mexico’s tech talent much prefers remote and flexible working schedules. Out of those working in office, 19.47% would like to work remotely, 22.83% would like flexible work, and 41.43% would prefer hybrid work.
What Is Flexible Working?
Flexible working is a non-traditional setup where the working schedule is arranged based on the employee’s personal needs. In most cases, flexible working includes working from home, but it can simply mean having flexible working hours while coming to the office to do the job.
The term itself is often used to describe any kind of working setup different from the regular nine-to-five job. For example, some countries require companies to offer flexible working options for certain employees.
What Are the Benefits of Flexible Working?
You’ve probably heard about the importance of offering flexible working hours to employees to keep employees happy and reduce stress, among other things. However, it’s not just employees who benefit from flexible working. There are several benefits that employers can enjoy with a flexible working setup:
- Absence rates will be lower because employees will choose their working hours.
- Employees will be more motivated and productive due to being more satisfied with their working hours.
- There will be more trust between employees and the employer, while their relationship will be stronger.
- Employers will have more diverse applicants for new job positions with flexible working hours, which means there is a bigger talent pool to choose from.
Catherine Aldridge, an expert in HR and writer at the custom writing reviews site Best Writers Online, says, “Many employers realize the benefits of introducing flexible working at their company, but the problem is that actually doing so is more challenging than it seems. Still, it’s worth offering flexible options for your employees considering that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks of doing so.”
What Are the Challenges of Flexible Working?
So, what exactly are the challenges of flexible working? There are not many, but businesses need to be ready to address them and solve any issues that arise in the process:
- Recording and managing employee hours can be tricky, but it becomes much easier once the system is up and running.
- The initial shift to flexible working can be challenging for your business, and you might need to change certain practices used at your organization.
- Sometimes there is a lack of sufficient planning before the shift, which leads to businesses making critical yet straightforward mistakes.
- A lack of experience, education, or expertise of your managers can also be detrimental to the shift. If they can’t manage employees well and don’t want to switch to flexible working, it will be nearly impossible to achieve good results.
How Can You Implement Flexible Working at Your Company?
Now that you know the main challenges of shifting to flexible working are, it will be easier for you to anticipate possible issues. That being said, these are the steps you should perform to implement flexible working at your company successfully:
- Write Out Your Policy: Start with the most technical aspect of the shift: writing out your policy for flexible working. You can hire a professional writer from the writing services reviews site Writing Judge to do this for you to ensure that you don’t forget any critical aspects of the policy. For example, consider the degree of flexibility, conditions, etc., for the new setup.
- Work with Individual Employees: Once you have the policy ready, work with each employee individually to agree on the new terms of how they will be working. Save all the new agreements securely to be able to refer to them anytime.
- Educate Your Staff: Approach your managers and educate them about their new responsibilities. If you see that training is necessary, don’t hesitate to set up seminars or workshops for your managers to attend.
- Assess Changes and Make Adjustments: When your company starts working in a new setup, measure employee performance to assess the results of your changes. Listen to feedback from your employees and make adjustments where necessary.
How Can You Keep Employees Happy?
You have implemented flexible working in your organization, listened to feedback, made the right changes, and listened to feedback. What next? The biggest challenge will be working in this kind of setup long-term. While some companies adjust to the shift quickly, others could struggle. You can keep a close eye on different employee-related metrics and react to changes appropriately.
Here are the best ways to keep your employees happy with flexible working:
- When hiring new employees, look for people with the right mindset for your company. It’s great if they already have experience with flexible working, but even if they don’t, ensure that they are willing to try a setup like this. Review your onboarding process and include questions to help you understand whether the candidate is suitable for working on a flexible schedule.
- Continue training and educating your employees. Like with any other setup, you need to be actively helping your employees improve their qualifications to stay up to date with the latest developments in your industry. Moreover, you should also train your employees in effective working skills such as time management.
- Always set clear goals and objectives for individual employees and your team as a whole. It’s also important to have smaller short-term goals and bigger long-term ones to give employees a more motivating perspective on the different projects they work on.
- Encourage leadership among your employees – not only to motivate them but also to promote internal mobility. Show them that their efforts are always appreciated and that you want to see them succeed while leading others. Let them have autonomy with their independent projects and encourage teamwork on group projects.
- Prioritize a sustainable work-life balance above all else. You are already offering many flexible options, but you need to remember that this is not always enough. Assess the performance of each employee separately and then discuss with them how certain aspects of their performance could be improved.
- Realize the importance of your employees’ mental and physical well-being. For example, encourage regular breaks (especially for physical exercise) and hire a psychologist to work with employees separately if they struggle with something privately.
- Recognize employees for their hard work and reward them. It’s no different than any other setup. Whether they work entirely from home or come to the office, you need to show them that they are a valuable member of the team.
Mexico’s IT Industry Has Adopted New Work Models
To summarize, salaries are not the only way. It’s essential to implement necessary changes at your company to provide your employees with flexi-work opportunities. And once many of your specialists are working remotely; you must make sure that they are satisfied with the setup and happy with their jobs.
Mexico’s IT industry is leaning to be a remote-first industry, with most of the workers choosing these flexible working schedule. This is especially true because the average age of Mexican developers and engineers is between 30 and 36. This means many of these workers have families and familiar responsibilities that are better balanced with flexible work arrangements.