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Misconceptions about flexible work options abound. But what most misconceptions or criticisms of flexibility as a whole miss are the nuances that make all the difference between flexible work programs that succeed and those that fail.
Let’s dive into some of those nuances to figure out how to develop a work flexibility “sweet spot” that fits your organization for the long haul.
Perhaps you’ve heard of some of these?
- Flexible work options are just perks for employees.
- Managing flexible work arrangements is harder and more costly than managing traditional workforces.
- Inconsistent flexible work policies are the source of worker jealousy in a lot of offices.
In fact, these were trotted out in the latest thought piece on the downsides of flexible work from the Wall Street Journal.
While the writer does conclude that, “Organizations, managers, and employees all benefit when they can be creative with workplace arrangements. Flexibility is a good thing, as long as it results in deals that are perceived as fair by the employees and leaders, and are manageable for the organization,” the article also spends a lot of time proliferating some of the negative misconceptions about flexible work arrangements.
Sara Sutton, CEO and founder of FlexJobs, says that articles like these reinforce the “perpetuated misunderstandings even amongst very smart people about what work flexibility can mean for companies and workers.”
She also points out that the article “makes conclusions that having flexible arrangements are ‘likely to be more costly and time-consuming than just having one deal and being done with it,’ without acknowledging the productivity and engagement benefits for the employer, let alone the retention, recruiting, real estate, and other financial benefits to the company.” Download google chrome version 72 for mac.
With that said, we want to focus on the real and measurable benefits of flexible work for companies and organizations, and how your organization can develop a well-crafted and implemented work flexibility program that avoids the pitfalls discussed in the Wall Street Journal article.
If you want a master class on what it takes to develop and manage successful flexible work programs, be sure to attend the TRaD*Works Forum!
Request an invite today for this intensive, inspiring, informative live event in Washington, DC, September 27-29, 2017.
3 Keys to Successful Flexible Work Programs
1. Don’t talk about your flexible work program like it’s a perk for employees.
A flexible work program should be developed as a strategic approach to doing business and getting work done, not as some sort of fluffy perk for employees.
How you discuss your flexible work program will ultimately color everyone’s perception of the program and its merits. Treating it as a perk, like free coffee in the break room, encourages people to use it the same way as other throw-away perks: use it, and maybe abuse it.
Instead, craft your work flexibility program as a strategic policy (check out real examples from employers) with goals that are tied to the company’s overarching business objectives and to the bottom line, and clear guidelines on who is eligible for which flexible work options and how. “Freedom within a framework,” as the WSJ put it.
2. Make it clear who is eligible for which types of flexible work and how they get access to it.
The article also points out that, “with idiosyncratic deals comes inconsistent treatment, and inconsistent treatment can result in people feeling as if they are not being treated equitably.” But this is definitely not just a problem with flexible work options.
As FlexJobs CEO Sara Sutton points out, “This is not a flexible work problem. There is absolutely idiosyncratic dealing and inconsistent treatment happening within brick-and-mortar, inflexible companies when it comes to pay, paid leave, treatment by managers, different personalities, gender equity, and more.”
The way those issues are dealt with in traditional companies is fully applicable to flexible work policies: make them transparent and understandable, and make it clear what results you expect to see from each person using flexible work.
The FlexJobs employer blog has a fantastic “Manage Flex Work” section that has dozens of helpful articles about managing flexible workers.
The WSJ article actually does a good job of explaining the basic tenets of a consistent flexible work policy:
- “Be consistent in what you are requiring of people who are in the same positions. Even if people have different deals on how they work, they need to have the same requirement when it comes to the work output itself. Employees are more likely to feel they are being treated fairly if they see that everyone is held to the same standard.”
- “Evaluate how well the arrangements are working. If they aren’t working well, they need to be changed. If they are, perhaps the deals should become a codified part of the framework.”
3. Match flexible work management tactics to the entire company.
The characteristics of excellent managers of flexible workers are actually fantastic managerial tactics for all employees, so adopt them company wide.
- Be a proactive communicator. Regular check-ins, casual conversation, and asking, “What’s getting in your way or holding you back?” are all great ways to communicate openly with your team.
- Measure performance and results, period. And measure key metrics monthly or quarterly, not yearly.
- Focus on processes and process improvement to ensure productivity and well-supported staff.
- Use a combination of communication tools, and make it clear which communication tools should be used for what. (IM for quick questions or casual chat, email for brainstorming, phone calls for deeper conversations, etc.).
- Spot conflict early and talk about it openly. Especially in flexible environments where people are working relatively independently, don’t let conflict fester or office politics run amuck.
- Don’t rely on “face time” or employee presence as an indication of productivity, reliability, or performance.
Are there downsides to flexible work policies? Absolutely. But they aren’t that much different from the downsides faced in an office environment.
So let’s stop believing that flexible work options are a throw-away perk, or are only good for employees, or that they somehow lower productivity, or hurt a company in the long run.
If done well, flexible work options can be a win-win-win situation for employers, workers, and society at large, including for our communities and the environment.
Interested in hiring flexible workers? Request an invite to FlexJobs!
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
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Are you in need of transcription services? Well, then an audio to text translator software is the thing for you. But then, the market today is full of many such software programs which make spotting a reliable one often a hard task.
However, you don’t have to bother anymore as here we have compiled a full list of some of the best audio to text translator software programs that will make everything simpler for you.
This is another very powerful audio to text transcription converter which is used by companies globally. From academic transcriptions to legal ones- GoTranscript can perform all. The service program is largely used by students, academic professionals, lawyers, police, judges and so on. The company also assures an award-winner customer support.
You are getting a pro audio player program here for Mac or PC that assists in audio recording transcriptions. The program comes with valuable features to help the typists such as varied speed playback, video playing, multi-channel control, file management and so on. The user will control the audio playback here with keyboard hot keys or transcription foot-pedal.
The software is equipped with APIs that helps in speech recognition & speech analytics which further helps in easy insight into what customer speaks to the company staff. The software promises accurate-most speech recognition. The keyword spotting analysis as facilitated by the software helps in efficient and fast extraction of insights.
This is a very reputed web app which is dedicated to fantastic speech recognition for converting audio to text versions as well as immediate voice translation. The program runs on advanced speech-to-text technology by Google to ensure best results. It’s the sole app that comes with auto-save, auto-punctuation, timestamps, in-text editing & export options.
Dragon for Mac
This all-new software has to be on the list as it promises 15 percent more accurate speedy speech recognition than ever. You are also getting versatile transcription & mobility features that hike up your productivity at the work place. If you want to reduce the typing stress, just dictate to Dragon and it will do the work for you.
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The list would stay incomplete without the mention of Inqscribe. It’s a much recommended name among transcribers which enables one to play videos & type the transcripts in same window. Whether you are taking notes or need word-to-word transcription, this audio to text conversion program would be your handy aide for everything.
Audio to Text Translator Software for Various Platforms
You will find a huge assortment of audio to text translator software applications for various platforms today. The one you are going for should match your system’s OS as otherwise it won’t work. Not every such software programs are meant for all operating systems as there are some software applications that only work for specific OS.
Free Windows Audio to Text Translator
When it comes to a good free Windows audio to text translator software, Wave To Text is a great name no doubt. This is a speech recognition-based (English) dictation program with audio to text conversion facility. You will be able to convert from voice to the text file just in real-time.
Free Android Audio to Text Translator – Evernote
If you are in quest of a good free Android audio to text translator software, don’t look past Evernote . It was previously meant to just record the audio notes like meeting notes or lectures but it now it can even turn the audiofiles to text. The app will save both the text & audio files together so that it’s easier for you to find out your recorded note.
Free Mac Audio to Text Translator Software – MAXQDA
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When you are in quest of a credible free Mac audio to text translator software, MAXQDA would be a great option anyday. The powerful transcription software comes with a robust data analysis functionality which makes data recognition easier for the users. It can analyze audio & video files, interviews, online surveys & images.
Most Popular Audio to Text Translator for 2016 – Transcribe
The best bit about Transcribe is that it comes with audio player integrated well with text editor and that too on same screen. This way, you are saved from switching back & forth between audio player & editor. No wonder, a great deal of time is saved, much to the convenience of users.
If you want to know about most popular audio to text translator software for 2016, Transcribe is the name for you. It’s a favorite of students and journalists as it helps them to save volumes of time and enhance productivity, courtesy the software’s 2-3x faster audio transcription service. It’s used all over the world.
What is an Audio to Text Translator Software?
An audio to text translator software is a program which helps to convert audio files into text files. Thus, it’s also referred to as transcription software sometimes. The transcription process can be performed manually or even automatically- however, it will depend on the very advancement of your software.
The audio to text converter software comes with speech recognition capacity and can convert various kinds of audio files such as interviews, music files in MP3, online surveys and so on. Some of the more advanced options can even convert video files and images into text files. The leading ones also come with in-text editing feature.
How to Install Audio to Text Translator Software?
To install audio to text translator software, download the chosen software first through its download link. However, before you click on the download link, make sure the software matches your system’s OS. After you download the software, you will have the installation link followed by the needed instructions on installing the software.
Benefits of Audio to Text Translator Software
Many times you would need to have a text copy of the audio files for a better understanding of the matter. It could be noted from a lecture or meeting or a phone conversation with a client or for any data in an audio file. A textual picture always assures a better grasp on any information or message.
This is where the audio to text translator software options come in. These are largely used by students, journalists, medical professionals, solicitors, police, court clerk, lawyers and so on. There are some audio to text converter softwares that are specifically designed for certain industries like medical or law.
When you are planning to install an audio to text converter program, check out what kind of audio files the program can support. Your chosen one should be able to support all major audio files. When it comes to using these software programs, well, they are pretty simple to run.