How flexible is your workplace? We're not talking about a workplace yoga program, we're talking about flexing your employees' schedules. Today, many employees have aspirations to part-time work to balance family and work life, or they may prefer to work from home part of the time. How could these new employment ideals impact your workplace reality?
What Do Flex Jobs Look Like?
If you've never embarked into the world of flexible jobs, you'll find that it's far more diverse than you might have imagined. Your workplace can develop programs that suit your needs and your employees' needs as well. For example, you might have flexible leave programs that allow employees to take time off for education or child care. You could develop a program where employees choose to work extended days and take a day off upon occasion. Two employees could share a job, or you could turn jobs into ones that could be done at home, at least in part.
Your Employees Benefit From a Flexible Schedule
For employees, the benefits of a flexible schedule are clear. They want to be able to manage child and elder care, go to appointments and otherwise juggle the rest of their life and their work schedule. Flexing a job can reduce their commute time and allow them to maintain an insurance career while managing other life commitments.
Your Company Can Benefit From a Flexible Schedule
Flexible scheduling can have huge benefits for your insurance company as well. An extended day schedule can allow your business to have longer operating hours. A job share arrangement helps to bring employees with new skills into the business. Telecommuting helps improve your business's environmental bottom line and allows you to keep employees with extensive insurance experience who might otherwise have to leave due to child care or elder care commitments. Flexible leave programs help to make your insurance business an attractive place to work, making it harder for employees to leave and give up the perks.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Flexible Insurance Jobs?
Of course, there can be challenges straying from the 9-5 tradition. Many people, including your customers, are used to operating on these traditional hours. If someone wants to telecommute, but their position demands a lot of in-office time, this can be difficult to negotiate. If your employee's position depends on that individual connecting with other agencies or clients in a specific time zone, you may need to ensure that those who are telecommuting or working non-traditional hours have the technology they need to successfully complete video conferences or navigate technological issues during off hours.
When people are telecommuting or working non-traditional hours, they also need to ensure that they keep up communication with those in the office. If you have new operating policies, everyone needs to know, not just those in the office. Frequent communication helps resolve job issues and ensures good communication between colleagues.
Ensure That Flex Jobs Work for Your Insurance Business
If flexibility isn't an option for all positions and it leaves others scrambling to cover someone else's duties, there can be some resentment. It's important to engage in a realistic assessment of whether job duties are a suitable choice for a flexible work arrangement. Conduct frequent reviews to ensure that flexible jobs are, in fact, improving the office work situation as well as the employee's life and strive to make changes so that flex jobs are beneficial for everyone involved.
Are you considering how employment trends will change your workplace? Talking with others in the insurance industry can help you understand how the changing trends could change your insurance agency operation. The American Agents Alliance can help link you with other companies in your field. Contact us today and learn more about our membership benefits.