Two directors have found that offering flexible work arrangements can help productivity if the right systems and processes are in place.
Ireviloution director Jo-Anne Oliveri said well-managed property management businesses should offer flexible work arrangements since property management is not a typical nine-to-five role.
Ms Oliveri said agencies can have property managers start at different times to cover longer operating hours or put two part-time property managers on one portfolio.
“The flexibility allows for people wanting to return to work but are still not ready for full-time status,” she told RPM.
“This working arrangement also means when one property manager is sick or on vacation leave, the other can step in and do the extra hours.”
Ms Oliveri said principals should take advantage of flexible working arrangements, particularly as technology makes it more accessible.
“However, in order to do this, the principal must have in place a system of processes, resources and training to ensure operational consistency, compliance and completion of tasks.”
According to Ms Oliveri, businesses that use flexible work arrangements need to monitor all tasks to ensure accountability as well as high levels of productivity and service.
“I still believe that all team members should work within the agency environment and framework at various times during the working week,” she said.
“If they work outside of this environment, culture and service standards are more likely to be impacted and the team member disengaged.”
Professionals Lithgow director Tina Case said that while none of her staff members are on flexible work arrangements, she has done so in the past and found it works with the right set-up.
“The people that job share must be committed to communicating, and making good notes in files is essential,” she told RPM.
“If someone is not willing to carry their weight, or they are continually falling behind, it does make the work harder for those left to carry on.”
According to Ms Case, flexible work arrangements work best for reception or leasing roles rather than property management roles.
Ms Case warned that the roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined to ensure flexibility doesn’t turn into neglect.
“It doesn't take long for landlords and tenants to get annoyed with people not being available to speak to for a number of days when they miss each other’s calls,” she said.
[Related: Five tips for improving staff productivity]