Deskless workforce | Flexible working isn't a perk, it's essential - 3 simple ways to boost flex for your shopfloor

Flexible working isn't a perk, it's essential - 3 simple ways to boost flex for your shopfloor

Three years post-pandemic, and the popularity of flexible working among office-based workers remains. Yet many deskless staff still struggle to obtain any ‘give and take’ from their employers over their working patterns – and just because they’re required to be physically present shouldn’t mean flexibility becomes a complete no-go.

Here are three ways to boost flex for your shopfloor, creating a happier, more productive workforce at the same time.

1. Consider switching to shifts

If everyone’s currently working the same schedule, switching to shift patterns instead can provide an instant increase in flexibility, allowing staff to pick workdays and times that best suit them. Depending on the size of organisation, you may choose to gauge opinion on preferred working patterns first – via a staff pulse survey or suggestions box – to keep morale high and ensure staff feel that their opinions matter.

If shifts are implemented, think about how to offer flexibility around shift choices, without impacting business output – giving workers the chance to change shift after an agreed period of time, for example, and/or making it easy for them to request and implement occasional shift swaps when they need to, to honour family commitments or for other personal issues.

2. Make technology your flexible friend

Implementing flex-friendly work patterns might seem overwhelming, so let tech take the stress out of it. Scheduling, shift swapping and leave requests can all be done at the touch of a button using workforce management tools like Quinyx. AI forecasting can create automated rotas as far in advance as you’d like them – ensuring optimum staffing levels while giving staff the flexibility they need.
Being able to swap shifts and request time off via an app empowers employees with increased ownership of their schedules – and when flexibility means as much as it does to today’s employees (our recent report, State of the Frontline Workforce, found that 60% of workers experience stress due to a lack of flexibility and being asked to work at short notice), then it’s certainly worth considering for a happier, more productive workforce.

3. Introduce flexible leave policies

Deskless workers often have limited time off, impacting on their personal lives – our data shows that around 40% of frontline staff have missed out on holiday trips due to inflexible work schedules. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way; there are numerous ways to help employees achieve a better work-life balance without affecting business performance, as long as policies are properly implemented and planned for.

Flexibility around medical appointments; extended leave or job-sharing to enable workers to take a break from work or reduce their hours temporarily; the ability to request a mental health day without awkwardness or embarrassment; even sabbaticals – they all allow workers to get the break they need without sacrificing job security. It’s also worth keeping front of mind that any increase in flex is likely to improve productivity, engagement and retention, while reducing absenteeism and staff turnover – so just as beneficial for employers as employees, in other words.

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Quinyx is a cloud-native, mobile-first workforce management solution that simplifies scheduling, time reporting, communication, task management, budgeting and forecasting, thanks to AI-driven scheduling automation. Through advanced and flexible features, Quinyx helps more than 850 companies around the world improve efficiency, engage employees, comply with regulations and reduce labour costs. Today, Quinyx helps some of the world’s biggest businesses save time and money, boost productivity and enjoy work.