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What Is Flexibility in the Workplace?OPINION
by Hannah Freeman, July 5, 2021
Workplace flexibility emphasizes the willingness and ability to adapt to change, particularly regarding questions like how and when work gets done.
A flexible workplace is created to meet the needs of both employee and employer and is often used as a tool for talent retention and engagement.
In this blog, I’ll provide a sort of flexibility at work guide and point out all the benefits of your company. Let’s increase workplace flexibility with pro tips that both employers and employees would love.
Why Is Flexibility Important In the Workplace?
First of all – workplace flexibility is more than just remote work.
Flexible work arrangements have shown to give great benefits. It reduces stress, improves productivity, and gives higher job satisfaction, and remote work is just one of the many options for businesses to provide flexibility.
Supporting a flexible workforce requires a stable communications solution that usually includes both video meetings and team messaging.
Workplace flexibility is a smart way to increase employee satisfaction, and if done right, it can help you retain talented people and ultimately increase everyone’s productivity. This especially is with regards to how, when, and where the work is done.
Essentially, it’s a strategy that you can choose to integrate into your company. And a flexible workplace includes all types of flexible working arrangements.
Flexibility Vs. Adaptability In The Workplace
Flexibility and adaptability in the workplace refer to one’s ability and willingness to respond and adjust to changes by balancing your core beliefs and the appropriate reaction to the change.
Flexible employees are said to be able to adapt to stakeholders’ needs and preferences; can take on more tasks; are more open to feedback; thus are more productive overall. Highly adaptable people modify their behavior according to the needs of the situation.
Here are some more characteristics of highly flexible and adaptable people:
- Intellectually Flexible – They keep an open mind and have both the big and small picture thinking.
- Receptive to Change – They are always willing to learn and respond positively to change.
- Creative – They always find new ways to deal with problems and adverse situations.
What Are the Benefits of Flexible Work?
From being a young company to having an edge in recruitment and improving diversity, the benefits of flexible work hours can help your business and set you apart from the competition, especially if you are looking for a more young and modern workforce.
Here are some key benefits of flexible working arrangements that employers and employees can greatly benefit from.
Better Life-Work Balance
Instead of spending time getting ready for work or commuting, remote employees can start working quickly, deliver a good quality job, and then have time for their family, or focus on hobbies and other interests, achieving a perfect balance.
Increased Sense Of Control and Better Productivity
Having more freedom to create your schedules increases the feeling of personal control over your work environment.
When a team’s sense of control, loyalty, engagement, and retention improves, that has major implications on the company’s overall productivity and profitability.
Saves Money Spent On Commuting
Some workers travel by bus, train, or car to get to work, spending money and hours of the day that can be used to tackle professional or personal needs.
Improved Employee Retention
Since employees have great job satisfaction due to greater workplace flexibility, you’ll be able to see rising employee retention rates within your company.
Retaining more experienced employees will benefit the business because they’re more familiar with the work and industry. Improved employee retention will also save you time and money associated with hiring and training recruits.
How Do You Promote Flexibility in the Workplace?
Looking to improve your company’s workplace flexibility?
With all the curveballs 2020 has thrown us, many employers are opting for a more flexible workplace approach.
There are many types of flexible work arrangements, and choosing the right one can make a big difference. Regardless of which one you implement, each policy can help create an idea of what behavior is expected and encouraged.
Telecommuting refers to a job that’s performed remotely only part of the time. This arrangement is especially perfect for those employees who live locally, and it can be implemented with nearly any position that doesn’t require in-office dwelling.
Studies show that telecommuting schedules offer the most productivity when an employee comes into the office two or three days per week.
Offer Remote Positions
With remote positions, work is entirely performed away from the office, and the employee can choose where he will work: whether staying home, traveling the world, or going to a shared office space.
Remote working can be also a permanent position or a temporary one, such as for employees that are traveling to work.
Video conferencing and consistent communication are keys to successful remote work.
Consider a condensed work week
A “condensed work” equates to four 10-hour days and Fridays off. For many job seekers, it’s the ultimate schedule. However, it’s only suitable for workers who can remain productive throughout long workdays.
Businesses can also lower overhead with a three-day weekend, but it’s difficult to implement for an entire organization.
Customize Working Hours
Allowing workers to choose their work hours (within reason) is a great perk because some workers are more morning people, while others have more energy in the evening.
Offering workers to choose their hours in a window is a simple system that provides many benefits, both for the employers and the employee who can finish another necessary task in a day (like picking up children from the kindergarten) and yet still be able to deliver good quality work.
Regardless of what type of arrangement a business offers, there needs to be a current flexible work arrangement in place. Flexibility requires practice, patience, and a little trial and error.