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The Art of Managing a Flexible Schedule

February 22, 2017

By Amanda Zantal-Wiener

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Ah, autonomy. Isn’t it grand? No defined time when you have to arrive at the office. No guilt over having to leave early for your kid’s recital. And if you’re not feeling well or the roads are bad, no problem — just work from home.

But is it ever really that simple? After all, other things become more salient when you’re working from home, like that pile of laundry that needs to get done, or a plethora of mindless daytime TV viewing options. That’s one issue with autonomy — it’s entirely up to you to get your stuff done. You have to set your own deadlines and hold yourself accountable to deliverables, because no one is looking over your shoulder.

Perhaps it’s just a mixed blessing. According to the National Workplace Flexibility Study, 98% of managers who implement a flexible work schedule see no negative drawbacks. Rather, they see results like better communication, interaction, and productivity. So, it’s not that simple — managing a flexible schedule requires a strong balance of managerial trust and personal accountability.

But what does the latter look like? How can you still manage to get stuff done with the boundaries that many of us became accustomed to before we had this kind of autonomy? As it turns out, it’s more than possible — and we’ve got a few tips.

(P.S. – Speaking of flexibility, we just launched our annual Year in Review, detailing a year of flexibility in our people, product, and place around the world. Check it out here.)

The Art of Managing a Flexible Schedule

1) Maintain a Routine

Here at HubSpot, our culture promotes a healthy dose of employee autonomy and flexibility. So when it came time to evaluate the best methods for managing a flexible schedule, my colleagues seemed like a good resource.

Chelsea Hunersen, our social media marketing manager, emphasized the importance of having consistent daily habits. “Start every day at the same time, with the same routine, even if you have to do different things after that,” she explained. “For example, I start each day reading for 30 minutes.”

People often allude to the benefit of having a routine, but little has been done to explain why it’s so good for us. According to psychologist Wendy Wood, there’s a reason why we form habits — “We find patterns of behavior that allow us to reach goals.” Maintaining a daily routine helps us to establish a foundation that helps us achieve productive goals, like getting our work done or started by a certain time. So even though my manager doesn’t have any specific parameters for what it means to get to work “on time,” I established my own and have a routine planned around it. That way, I can hold myself accountable to making sure I have enough time to get all of my tasks done, even without a schedule dictated by my employer.

2) Treat It Like A “Real” Work Day

Here’s another place …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog

      

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