More evidence has emerged in the past few years: flexible working does seem to work. But more so, it isn’t just for new parents anymore. The millennial generation of workers are now often expecting it. For us at Klir, workplace flexibility is not just a buzzword, it is a necessity. It is something that we have come to embrace and embed whenever and wherever possible. And here is why it has been working…
At Klir, we incorporate dimensions of time and place flexibility, but we also primarily focus on performance and outcomes. Rather than watching the clock, our employees concentrate on meeting deadlines and producing good work. This doesn’t mean that they can come and go as they please; rather we work to agree on a collaborative timetable, with regular team meet-ups and cooperation on certain types of tasks that add value to the end objectives. Our goal is tangible results, and many employees are more prolific and efficient when they are left completing their tasks in their own way.
As a start-up located in Dublin, we have to compete with the big US corporations, which everybody want to work for. Recruiting the right people is hard. So we’ve had to adapt and be creative with our recruitment strategy. Our flexibility policy has helped increase the pool of qualified applicants for new roles: we’ve been able to find highly competent people who were not even being looked at by more conservative recruiters. If we know a candidate is the right one, we’re prepared to consider flexible arrangements.
It is also about doing the right thing. Establishing a culture of flexibility – making it the norm rather than a special treatment other employees might resent – contributes to reducing issues that can restrict women in their career options, while also enabling dads to work flexibly, which is crucial to greater workplace equality.
And it works for current employees too: in our case, flexibility helps retain the experienced and skilled staff already working with us. As part of our core values, we recognise that we all have different needs both inside and outside of work, and we have made the choice to support people’s needs for a flexible working arrangement.
We care a great deal about the environment here at Klir. We all want to play a part in making this world a better place.
Working from home, for example, can be of benefit to the environment, as cutting back on daily commutes reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces the global carbon footprint.
Sometimes, we need space. Sometimes, we need to catch up on personal priorities, such as our family or simply getting rested. Here, we’ve found that giving that space to people makes them happier when at work, but also more engaged with their work. It is a win-win for everybody. Employees get what they need, and the organization benefits from a more engaged workforce and better quality work.
All in all, it is good for the business. We haven’t had to increase our space yet, some employees value flexibility over a higher level of remuneration, absenteeism is not an issue, and we also save on smaller investments such as coffee and snacks, and paper … Flexibility works in helping us cut back on some of the costs.
In short, we needed to think beyond the norm regarding flexible working, and run our organization and our recruitment strategy in a more open-minded and adaptable way. As a matter of fact, most roles could take in some sort of flexible working arrangement. It is often a question of compromise. If everyone gives a little and takes a little – employee and employer – it can often lead to a positive arrangement that benefits everyone and the company as a whole.
For us at Klir, the benefits of flexible working are quite visible, from increased employee engagement to better performance. Making work better for people has delivered more than we initially thought.
But we are also conscious that it comes with some challenges. As our team grows here at Klir, and as we may recruit team members across borders out of necessity, we will have to work at ensuring communication remains effective at all times. Companies that offer flexibility need good communication tools to ensure that collaboration, involvement and engagement don’t suffer. But with the right collaboration tools — we use GoToMeeting, HipChat and Confluence here for example – it is now inexpensive and effective to gather people together virtually, even a big team.
Interested in joining a truly flexible company? Check out our openings.