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Managing flexible working arrangements

Small businesses operating in an ever-changing environment increasingly need to ensure they get flexible working schemes right. Finding the right balance can be mutually beneficial for both your business and employees.

Business owners are responsible for effectively implementing and managing flexible working arrangements that ensure all employees are satisfied. Here are some things to consider when approaching flexible working schemes:

Employer obligations
Flexible working arrangements not only make commercial sense but employers are legally obliged to consider the arrangement where an employee applies. Therefore, consideration needs to be given to all employee requests and when assessing applications you must make sure that they are not unfairly disadvantaged by their personal circumstances.

It is important to remain up-to-date with the latest legal documents, contracts and processes to ensure your business complies within its legal requirements.

Adopt a specific policy
Introducing a specific policy so decisions are clear and consistent for all employees is vital to the success of flexible working schemes. Inform employees of your expectations when commencing an arrangement, such as using an ‘out-of-office’ message when away, sharing employee work schedules and online calendars etc.

Performance management
Reviewing flexible arrangements on a regular basis is a great opportunity to provide feedback to your employees and make any necessary changes. Conducting performance reviews for staff on flexible arrangements should be the same as for anyone else. Business owners may also want to consider gaining feedback from colleagues as these arrangements need to work for the whole team to succeed.

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