Workshifting is often touted as a way to attract talented employees, but it can be so much more than that. It can actually help your employees provide better service to customers – even in unexpected ways.
Take Alberta-based ATB Financial, for example, whom we talked to at the launch of WORKshift Canada in Halifax. In 2007, the company made a major investment in tools and technology to create flexible working conditions for its employees.
Little did senior management know just how valuable that program would be a few short years later.
Karen Bayerle, director of corporate real estate, says the workshifting program became more important than expected when it gave employees the flexibility to continue working during the floods in Calgary in June 2013. Here’s what happened:
The flood caused the evacuation of Calgary’s downtown core for two days, leaving many of the city’s 350,000 workers unable to get into their offices. A recent BMO Capital Markets report estimated the floods would shave $2 billion off of Canada’s GDP.
For ATB Financial – a company with an established workshifting culture – many employees faced little-to-no work interruptions and were able to provide much-needed support to customers. This came as no surprise for Bayerle:
One of the unexpected benefits of workshifting for ATB Financial was the impact on its real estate needs. The organization has saved millions by reducing how much office space is used now that many employees work only one day a week in office:
As fantastic as that is, it’s important to remember that the organization is still legally required to provide safe workplaces for staff, as one attendee at the launch of WORKshift Canada pointed out. Bayerle has a specific approach on how to handle this issue:
Workshifting is not only changing the way we work but also allowing us to be more agile as organizations and provide better customer service. Here’s more on how and why companies should consider this new style of work.
It also makes companies competitive, something I’ve written about previously.
Want to learn more about the launch of WORKshift Canada in Halifax? Go right ahead.
And lastly, we have done several interviews with other workshifting champions at the event. You can view them on the GoToMeeting YouTube channel.