Remote work and the WFH life is clearly here to stay, with many recent surveys and polls showing a clear preference among workers who experienced it in 2020.

Woman employee with headphones WFHPart of the appeal of this new mode of working comes from the flexibility and freedom it offers over one's schedule. It has become such a desirable perk that nearly a quarter of workers now say they would take a pay cut to work remotely, according to benefits provider Asure.

Many companies are now experimenting with hybrid workforces, where some team members work from home and others come into the office on rotating days. It's an exciting time that promises to elevate the employee experience, but it also introduces a lot of complexities when it comes to organizing your teams and workflows.

How do you know who is where? How do you handle time and scheduling for remote employees?

Here are a few timekeeping and scheduling tips for hybrid workforces from the experts at Future Systems:

Scheduling Flexibility for Remote Workers

Giving your remote employees more tools for managing their workday is a no-brainer. The following are some of the obstacles remote employees can face in scheduling and organizing their days:

Communicating availability

One of the major challenges for WFH employees is in communicating their schedule. A hybrid office means normalizing those empty desk chairs, so how can you know when someone is taking PTO versus working from home? Online scheduling is the perfect solution, as anyone on the team could have access to another's status. What about when a remote employee suddenly needs to take a sick day? The online scheduling system can also send scheduling alerts notify other employees of a change.

Tracking time

Flexibility means altering or abandoning daily routine, making it easy to lose track of time. According to Hubspot, remote workers tend to work longer hours than in-office employees, which can ultimately be damaging to overall health, satisfaction, and productivity. Online timekeeping adds more predictability to the WFH lifestyle, allowing employees to easily clock in and out using online, biometric or app-based time clocks.

What if Working Remotely Isn't an Option?

There are plenty of jobs and roles that can't be done remotely. From health and safety occupations to transportation and auto repair, an estimated 45% of the U.S. workforce still needs to come to the "office," whatever that might look like.

That doesn't mean you can't give these employees more flexibility and choice over their schedules. The following are some alternatives accommodations: 

  • Compressed work weeks: Several companies are making the five-day week a thing of the past. This model is a way for employees to redistribute the hours they work throughout the week. For most companies, this often means adopting 10-hour days four times a week instead of five 8-hour days. An option to have an extra full day off throughout the week can boost morale and positively impact work/life balance.
  • Off-peak start times: In Asure's 2021 survey, most employees rated "avoiding the commute" as the most beneficial factor in working from home. For those who cannot work remotely, work places can still adjust hours to avoid peak traffic times. This could even mean starting 30 minutes later or ending 30 minutes earlier. 
  • Job sharing: In this concept, two part time employees share the responsibilities of what would typically be one full-time job. This allows both individuals more flexibility in scheduling, and offers a solution for working parents or those transitioning into retirement. 

The past year has shown how beneficial and practical working from home can be. Now, employers must navigate what employee flexibility looks like for their business, and we can help. Call Future Systems today to learn more about our scheduling, timekeeping, and the other great services that easily accommodate a hybrid workforce.

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