The 9-5 job or office setting isn't for everyone. Many entrepreneurs are abandoning the traditional workplace setup so they can set their own hours, work from anywhere they want and pick and choose their clients. Perhaps that's why you became a small business owner yourself. For business owners who have employees, It can also be beneficial for employers to embrace some elements of modern work life in order to keep great employees.
What is an alternative business model?
An alternative business model could involve changes to your office setting or location; or to how and when the work gets accomplished. This might mean incorporating work-from-home options, flexible hours, redesigning your office setup or changing the way you compensate employees.
What are the benefits of a non-traditional work environment?
Depending on your business, a non-traditional work environment could have many potential benefits:
- Better productivity: We all thrive during certain times of day and in certain environments. When employees have the flexibility to work at the time and place that most suits them, they're less likely to waste time looking busy and spend more time getting things done.
- Better use of resources: Using remote workers could give you access to a better hiring pool. It could also reduce your company's use of resources like office space which can be a huge cost for a small business.
- Higher satisfaction and employee retention: Flexibility is a huge bonus for many workers in the current economy. Alternative workplace options can be a major attraction for potential hires, and a great way to inspire current employees to stick around.
What type of business would benefit from a non-traditional model?
Not all businesses will thrive with a non-traditional setup, especially if you and your employees need to interact with clients and each other in a designated space on a daily basis. But if your business involves some activities that could just as easily be done elsewhere or during a different time and may even be done better and faster that way then you might consider incorporating flexible hours and/or work-offsite options. Ask yourself where, how and when the work needs to get done, and whether there is the option to be flexible in any of those areas. This will lead you to alternative options that are right for your particular business.
How do I start?
It's natural to have misgivings about doing things differently. Communicate your reasoning and goals to your staff, and let them know your concerns up front. Make sure to have a clear plan going in. Finally, it's better to start small and pilot only one or two things at a time. If the new arrangements don't work, don't be afraid to go back to what you were doing, and try again.
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