8 min read
This article has been translated from our English edition.
Kindly supported by Rosanna Barardi
- Thanks to life, nothing is left and we are constantly changing. Fortunately, it applies to work too.
Like it or not, things have changed. The traditional “rules” of the job just don’t apply to most jobs anymore, and that can be hard to hear. Many of us are already overwhelmed by the amount of difficult decisions, changes, and new responsibilities we have to make. However, in order to do the best for our businesses, it is important to take a close look at the situation. What has changed since then, and most importantly, how should we respond to these changes?
Old rule: traditional office hours
New rule: active hours
For many industries, the introduction of remote working came as a huge shock that, if we’re being honest, not everyone was fully prepared. As working from home continues to transform the way we do business, it is important for employers to realize that we cannot change the entire work format and enforce the same rules. “That’s how we’ve always done it” is irrelevant. Circumstances have changed and it’s time for entrepreneurs to adapt.
Sorry folks, but the traditional 9am Monday through Friday. at 5 p.m. The calendar is officially dead and it’s time for business owners to step in. Instead of sticking to an outdated format that, to be honest, was never really good for productivity, don’t be afraid to reconsider.
Replace your traditional working hours with predefined “active working hours” that apply to you, your employees and your company. That could be at 2 p.m. At 5 p.m. every day (or any other reasonable time frame) and encourage your staff to be available and / or on call during these times.
Don’t forget to ask your reps for information about what works best for them, and they don’t have to have the same activity hours for every employee every day of the week. Whether they work from 5 a.m. at 7 a.m., 1 p.m. at 3 p.m. or 8 p.m. At 11 p.m. when they are at work it is much less important whether the job gets done or not.
Old rule: 40 hours standard work week
New rule: flexible planning
I like to remind people that the eight-hour workday is over 200 years old. Robert Owens, a Welsh labor rights activist, is said to have coined the phrase “eight hours of work, eight hours of rest, eight hours of rest” in 1817. This concept quickly got to America. In the early 1920s the idea of the eight hour work day became mainstream and we have relied on this structure ever since.
Obviously, a lot has changed in the past two hundred years. So why are we still clinging to a concept that is literally centuries old? Research shows that shorter working hours (and shorter work weeks) are great ways to improve the quality of life and work quality of your employees. We know that employees who are happier (and more productive) help improve the bottom line. So why not make the change?
As a business owner, you need to critically analyze whether the eight-hour workday really works for your company. Resist the urge to make decisions based on what you are familiar with. You might like the eight-hour workday because it makes it easier for you to control people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s best for your company. Instead, you may want to focus on hiring people you trust so you don’t have to oversee them every day.
Studies show that employees work best during focused periods of time and when they are in control of their own schedules, improving their employees’ wellbeing pays off. Companies that introduce more flexibility into their workweek can see productivity, health and wellness gains, and profitability gains. Sticking to a strict work schedule can do more harm to your bottom line than it can help your safety.
You might be interested in: 10 Essential Tricks for Productivity and Life When Working from Home
Old rule: too much (or too little) supervision
New rule: liability
One of the reasons many business owners are reluctant to introduce flexible hours or work from home options is because they fear that it will be difficult to oversee employees when they are out of the office or connected at the same time .
While these new ways of getting things done may take a lot of trust in your employees to actually get things done, rather than watching Netflix with company money, the point is to create a structure where you can get what you need. and let your employees thrive. Accountability is vital and allows your employees to have a clear understanding of responsibilities and expectations. This gives them the freedom to do well in a nontraditional work environment while creating enough structure for you to ensure that work is done.
If you do not know what your employees do every day, this is unfortunately not always “their” problem. Unless your employees have clear expectations of what to do (and how to do it), it becomes more difficult for them to reassure them that you need to get things done.
Instead of parting with your team or, on the opposite extreme, becoming a dreaded micromanager, try to be a point of contact, not a bottleneck. Do you want to keep your team on track? Set up some key metrics, then run weekly reviews where contributors can tell you the top three things they’re working on that week. You can quickly check-in via Slack or email during the week, but for the most part, it’s about learning to trust the people you’ve hired for great work.
Old rule: be a good manager
New rule: be a great leader
When it comes to being an entrepreneur, one of the most important things you can learn is the difference between a manager and a leader. Anyone can lead a team (with varying degrees of success), but it takes a lot of time, energy, and effort that are probably not currently available to you.
Instead of looking at your role as a team leader, focus on learning how to be a great leader too. Be creative and flexible. Learn to be proactive instead of reactive instead of pointing fingers at your employees (or the pandemic). What can you do better as a manager? Where can your team improve? Learn to train autonomously and at a high level.
Remember, it’s not just about doing what is best or most convenient for you. It takes practice, but eventually you will find the best solution for your customers, employees and the results.