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Flexibility in the workplace

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Flexibility is an important trait for employees. Flexibility on the job includes the willingness and ability to respond to changing circumstances and expectations readily. Many companies question their ability to implement a flexible work style and simultaneously maintain high productivity and performance levels.

Flexibility works both ways, and employees appreciate having managers who are flexible. Flexible managers treat employees as individuals and make an effort to accommodate personal styles and needs. Employees who are entrusted and given more freedom at work are highly appreciative of their flexible managers/employers. Thus, in return, employees will build on this approach and give in their maximum effort to meet their manager’s expectations while also being flexible themselves with what is asked of them.

Flexibility involves having an open, team-centered attitude, and retaining a strong sense of identity and purpose.

Sometimes employers will allow employees to work from home when feasible to help balance work with family responsibilities, but there are also a host of other options that may better suit your situation, such as:

  • Embracing a four-day work week

  • Flexible work hours

  • Flexible work arrangement, i.e. remote login, working in different offices, hot desking

  • Create flexibility for everyone and not just parents

  • Companies need to encourage for me to work part-time/flexibly

  • Be creative around flexibility

While it can be daunting to approach your manager with a proposal for flexibility at work, it helps to remember that open communication and building trust are key to getting a feasible arrangement.

There are several advantages for employees arising from flexible work environments, including greater autonomy, motivation and an improved work life balance. However, some employers do not recognize the benefits of flexible work environments can have to their business. Here are a few:

  • Employees often become more enthusiastic about their jobs and generally have a higher morale

  • Attracting new talent and access to Global Talent Pool

  • Loyalty and higher staff retention

  • An increase in productivity

  • Employee Management relationships better

  • Reasons they join your company or go elsewhere

As a manager, you're responsible for developing a team culture that values and encourages flexibility. Give your people the self-confidence to do this by creating an environment in which they feel supported and trusted. All in all, flexibility in the workplace may very well help your business.

However, it’ll just as likely improve the lives of your employees. And that has a domino effect that is undeniable. For when you allow your employees the room to come and go, work at their pace and by their schedule, you let them manage themselves in a much more direct way and become more productive in the process.

​Whether it be through flexible hours or building your office culture, consider the positivity you can inflict on your employees and business alike.