I work for Summit Executive Centre in Sales and I, like 75% of all millennials want flexible hours. I was given the opportunity to participate in Remote Year where I worked remotely throughout SE Asia for 4 months. I was not based on a 40-hour work week but with the expectation that my sales quota would be exceeded. I was given the opportunity to speak at a Pecha Kucha for Meeting Professionals International (MPI) about how to maintain your productivity in countries where there is a 14 hour time difference when your job is normally client facing. If you know about Pecha Kucha’s they are only 7 minutes long and many people have asked me for more information so I am including my tips here on how your company can retain Millennials and some tips for those employees wanting to have more productivity, which is a requirement if you want flexible work options.
Millennials are known as being environmentally and socially conscious and want to have a purpose when giving back. On RY, I was able to volunteer in many different ways throughout the world and it is something I take huge pride in. Giving your employees volunteer days is an amazing perk and will not only be good for that employee but for team building as well if it is a group project.
Growth opportunities for retaining millennials is necessary and should be part of an employee’s annual review. With Remote Year I was able to experience constant growth culturally, by networking with locals and Remote Year peers and attending educational programs. Our community had writer’s retreats, blogging sessions and brought in local professional speakers.
Having flexible hours allowed me to be active throughout the day and I am much happier that way. To draw prime talent you have to have a wellness program. You could offer fitness incentives, employee gyms, wellness reimbursement or classes during lunch breaks. I’ve even seen people offer classes and invite their clients as a way to bond in a different way. Picture a yoga class at your hotel and have the chef create fresh juices and granola. Showcase your space and network while staying active. Your clients are always getting invited to cocktails and trying to fit in working out so why not make it easier for them.
I love this quote because it is so true. My motivation comes from nature and sunshine so I find time every day to walk to the park or river walk to re-energize. Find what motivates you and your employees and make sure that you are constantly reinventing ways to keep the motivation and inspiration going strong.
All of the above perks can only happen if you are getting your work done and going above and beyond. The one thing that has helped me the most is to have a Wi-Fi hotspot that has allowed me to send contracts from taxi’s, beaches and even boats in the middle of the ocean. There are a ton of productivity apps available that you can search for online and I have listed a few here.
We all have tasks that are mundane that we either put off or dread doing. I am constantly looking at my day-to-day responsibilities and if there is something that I can get a computer to do in half the time, I will ask if I can have the program created. I have a client that has 700 meetings a year that I put into our system to create the contracts and invoices and it would take me weeks. I reached out to our software developer to create a system that takes their excel spreadsheet with meeting specs and uploads all of the information. This will not allow a computer to take your job, it will free up your time to spend on tasks that are more productive.
This is what my inbox looks like every day before I leave work after responding to 100’s of emails a day. I have folders, delete anything I don’t need to save and create drafts for emails I type often. I also create draft emails with information packets for clients with similar programs and questions so they have the answers before they even have to ask. Having this sort of organization will never let anything slip through the cracks and keeps your to do list short.
If you have a task that you like to do each month that may not be a necessity you should schedule recurring calendar reminders so you set a time aside on a slower day. I send my clients thank you notes after their programs and it is something that I reserve time for each month. If you have any recurring tasks that you can do all in advance be proactive and do it. For example, I wrote an MPI series of 12 blogs and I wrote them in a week and just sent them all at once instead of finding time for it every month.
Create office hours if you work remotely or if you only want to respond to emails during certain hours. This sets expectations so clients aren’t reaching out to colleagues for non-urgent requests. This also allows you to focus on other tasks and not just respond to emails all day.
You can set times you are available for conference calls and have this available to your clients and colleagues. If they are in a different timezone you can use a website like time and date to find a time that works for them within your allotted call times. Create a calendar with times that you are going to prospect as well so you are contacting people when they are available and you aren’t filling that time slot with calls or meetings.
You can enhance your Remote Relationships with clients via blogging and adding clients to your professional social media sites to create a more personal connection. The more personal connection you have with your clients and colleagues the better your relationship will be making their events easier to plan. This is especially beneficial when you are a remote worker.
If you travel a lot for work get Global Entry and TSA precheck. Global entry and TSA Pre check will get you in and out of the country faster. Priority pass allows you to use 900 lounges in airports where you can access free Wi-Fi to work. You are also able to relax so you are rested for your clients meetings.
While everyone works differently and at different paces, if you want the ability to work remotely and flexible hours you have to be an above average employee. Hopefully some of these tips will help.