Could your small business allow for flexible working?

By Henry Brown

The future is here and it’s looking more and more flexible. Flexibility in business is no longer a perk but an expectation ­­– for your clients and for your staff. While long business hours stuck in a stuffy office might have been acceptable in the past, the future will side with those who allow their employees to work from home and decide the hours that suit them best.

So what if your business is still lagging behind? For some, flexible working is a little more difficult to implement than others. Public services such as teachers and doctors, for example, are not able to do their jobs at home. Similarly, manufacturing and retail aren’t particularly flexible either. However, there are still ways to compromise.

So, let’s dig a little deeper into the issue.

Systems that allow flexibility

The first thing to do is to look at the areas of your business where there could be more flexibility. Remember that flexibility isn’t just about where or when someone works, but also about how they work. So, even if you need to have everyone in the office at a particular time, you could be more flexible in allowing them to choose whether to work at a desk, sit round a table or crash out on a sofa!

There are lots of technological systems that can help too. Systems such as Office 365 Cloud Technologies and other collaborative software are ideal for bringing teams together from around your region or even from around the globe.

Building on strengths

Your business goals can be achieved in many different ways. When you want to increase the flexibility of your business, you will also need to look at more creative ways to reach your goals and continue to work well. In fact, the more agile a business is, the more likely it is to succeed.

Change is happening all the time, whether you like it or not, so it’s crucial that you frequently look at your strengths and consider where you could improve. Flexibility is just one area that could move your business processes up a notch and you should also be thinking about how you provide services and different areas your business could move into.

Looking to the future

The future is difficult to read, but, if we know anything, our work lives are about to change significantly. While you may not be able to figure out what the best thing to do is right now, it’s really important that you keep an eye on the horizon so that you are ready to act when the time comes.

When you are more flexible, your employees will have greater control over the way they contribute to your business. This is ideal if you are looking for a more creative approach and want your staff to feel more connected. When they are trusted, they are more likely to push boundaries on their own. The next idea could come from anywhere so priming your business to be ready is the best thing you could be doing right now.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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