The Client: A medium-sized company in the semiconductor manufacturing segment.
The Challenge: Dissatisfied employees because commutes from all directions involved bottlenecks, making journey times to work long and stressful (construction sites, replacement buses for trains, etc.).
The Global DiVision Solution: Trust-based working hours and workplaces, requiring specific measures such as more frequent working from home.
The Client Benefit: Less fluctuation and lower sickness rates due to happier, more motivated employees.
The key parameter used by most companies to calculate pay is still the amount of time employees were present on the premises. More recent legislation regulating how working time is recorded has meant that employers and employees are having to focus more on the number of hours worked.
A medium-sized company in the semiconductor manufacturing segment came to Global Division with a very specific problem. The employees were becoming more and more dissatisfied and stressed. Road construction sites and replacement buses for trains were making their commutes, that had always involved bottlenecks no matter which direction they came from, even harder and longer.
The solution to the problem was actually really simple and certainly not a revolutionary new idea. The introduction of more frequent days working from home resulted in greater flexibility and less stress for the employees, thus generating a higher level of satisfaction. Many managers, however, still have misgivings when it comes to flexible working places and times for employees. We provide some food for thought on this topic, outlining possible solutions below:
Working without a Commute
For many people, not having to travel to get to their job would be an invaluable benefit in terms of quality of life. It is not uncommon for workers to spend an hour or more commuting each way to or from their place of work. Furthermore, in this era of climate consciousness there are also environmental aspects to consider.
Despite all of this, working from home is still often viewed as being equivalent to playing hooky. This is where companies’ executive managers come into play. Work performance should not be judged by the number of hours spent at the office but by its outcome. Unambiguous agreements, targets, and regular meetings to discuss results can help to ensure that both sides have a clear understanding of what is expected. Because employees who work flexibly also need assistance if they are to make the best use of this option
Work that Never Ends
Obviously, there are also risks to the concept. Motivated, ambitious workers in particular are in danger of working all hours if there is no distinct separation between their jobs and private lives. The opportunities, however, outweigh the risks. Your child is sent home from school early? No problem. The work that you miss as a result can be finished later when he or she is doing homework.
Problems Caused by a Control Mentality
Many bosses still want to monitor what their employees are doing. Ideally, while they are working. The fear of losing control is, however, greater than the risk that the employees won’t carry out their tasks. A cooperative working relationship that is independent of place and time can only be successful if the manager stops seeing themselves as a controlling authority, instead becoming a leader. This will make both sides happier.