Finding the Right Training Tools for Flex-Time Office Culture

Home and work used to be two separate places, but for a rapidly increasing number of workers, that’s no longer the case: More than half of all workers in the United States check work email outside of work hours, and 86% of workers think that it’s beneficial to their work life and home life to stay connected all the time. Employees don’t need to be in the office to work, either: As of 2013, 30 million Americans worked at least one day weekly from home, and that number keeps climbing.

A flexible office policy can be great for employee morale, but tough on your company calendar: When employees are free to dart in and out of the office at a whim (or avoid it altogether), it can be difficult to get them all in the same room at one time for conferences and training seminars. How can your company adapt and thrive in these quickly changing workplace expectations?

Why Workplace Flexibility Rocks

Some companies might take the ostrich approach and ignore the changing face of company culture, maintaining the expectation of mandatory “face-time” from 9-5 (or 8, as the case may be) each day. But that’s bad for your employees—and your business. Here are a few of the benefits of embracing a “work from anywhere, anytime” culture:

Nab the best talent.
In 2013, 58% of HR professionals surveyed said that they considered flexibility to be an asset in recruiting new talent and retaining that valuable talent. Moreover, a 2015 study of more than 9,000 full-time employees worldwide suggests that potential talent looks for flexibility over all other job perks.

Save money on office resources.
Companies are seeing green by accommodating a flexible work environment: Aetna saves $72 million a year by allowing a portion of their workforce to work from home or from flexible locations, reducing the need for office space and resources.

Communicate more effectively.
Half of all hiring managers in a Boston College study indicated that their employees communicate better as a team when they’re given freedom in their schedules. Great communicators make fewer mistakes and work more efficiently. In the same study, 98% of the surveyed managers stated that they found no negative effects from giving employees more freedom.

Get more done.
Employees also self-report being more efficient workers when they have the ability to work from home. Self-managing employees are high-functioning, which means more efficiency overall.

Now’s the time to let your employees go free-range. There’s a lot to gain and little to lose when you extend and enable flexibility.

Corporate Training Tools for a Flextime World

So employees are happier and more productive when you take them off the leash. But how can you make sure they’re staying up to speed on your training requirements and best practices?

Go mobile.
Your employees can structure the workweek around their own lives when you give them the tools to work from home or while on the go. Enable them to access training content on their mobile devices, which they can tap into from any time, anywhere; 96% of employees use at least one mobile device for work purposes while outside of the physical office.

Keep it current.
Sure, your employees can access PDFs from their smartphones, but they won’t be able to tell if you’ve just upgraded a price or added a new feature–and it can be tough to keep track of 17 different versions. By using a cloud-based content platform, you can enable your team to update materials in real-time, and ensure that everyone is seeing the most current and relevant version.

Customize it.
Not every employee or department needs access to the same materials, and asking them to cram in too many facts means they won’t have brain space for the really important stuff. Tailor your employees’ learning content to their needs, pulling out the most important reference information and videos for their particular use cases.

Focus on “just-in-time” learning.
Your employees won’t remember everything, so don’t expect them to try. With a mobile-based content tool, your team can draw from training materials and videos on the fly, at the point in time that they actually need them. Experiential learning beats rote memorization every time.

As the workplace transitions from “9-5” to “flex-time,” expectations are changing. It’s no longer important to see an employee sitting at his desk for eight hours a day; it’s more crucial that your team can plug in from anywhere and gain real-time access to the latest company news and updates.

Mobile devices are a vital part of the workplace, and most employees keep them handy for round-the-clock access. Migrate training and reference materials to a cloud-based platform that makes them accessible for real-time learning and collaboration, anytime and anywhere.