Telecommuting is standard in more and more businesses. Perhaps you and your colleagues can already decide where and when you work. If not, would you like to work more flexibly? Here in the Netherlands, the Law for Flexible Work should help. This law has been in effect since the beginning of this year. If your Dutch company has more than ten employees, then you have the right to ask permission to telecommute. The new law fits perfectly with the swelling trend for more flexible work hours of the last decade. In addition, here in the Netherlands there are almost 2 million employees with flexible contracts, so fully a quarter of all employees!
Benefits of flexible working
The average HR-manager is happy with the trend toward flex work, 52% believe that it makes a contribution towards better productivity. And flexible work offers more benefits:
- Because of increasing amounts of caregiver legislation, there are more and more family and informal caregivers. Working flexibly makes that more convenient. Do you need to provide care during work hours? Then you can easily work later.
- Flex workers have less stress anyway, since they can more easily combine work and home.
- Need to do banking during office hours? No problem. Have an appointment with a plumber? Simple, it won’t conflict with your work.
- Telecommuting saves travel time and is better for the environment. With less traffic, you prevent traffic jams. And employers save on mobility costs.
- Why would you still choose an office with the maximum number of work stations? If your organization is flexible, you need fewer permanent offices, reducing property costs.
Flex working changes collaboration
Telecommuting modifies your working relationships, sometimes for the better, but, unfortunately, not always. A constructive and enjoyable conversation at the coffee machine with colleagues that you like is no longer something you can take for granted. So you need to call, chat on the internet or Skype. Updating the status of projects? You do that online as well, for instance with Collabtive or Basecamp. Flexible working also requires different meeting practices.
If you no longer work often at the office, isn’t it a waste of work time to travel? So why would you drive to the office just for a meeting? Naturally you want to discuss matters with colleagues face-to-face once in a while, but it isn’t always necessary. Using a video conference you have face-to-face contact with colleagues. Do they seem irritating to organize? Not at all. There are many tools that help coordinate these. For instance, with Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting of MeetingBurner.
Meeting from your living room
If you have regular web meetings, it is important that you have all of the meeting materials in one place, digitally available to everyone. Otherwise it is very difficult to plan and carefully prepare flexible meetings. With a good tool for digital meetings, you can organize a meeting 3.0 from a laptop or tablet. You no longer have to prepare the correct paper meeting documents on time. And if you have to work from another location then that is fine as well, everything is digitally close at hand anyway!
Paperless meetings have many other benefits. Want to know more? Download our ebook.