Allowing flexibility in the workplace will allow employers and employees to make arrangements about working conditions that suits them. This will help employees to maintain a healthy work/life balance and can help employers improve the productivity and efficiency of their business. If your business enforces a rigid and unyielding workspace you are decreasing your chances of hiring top talent.
Exceptional leaders understand that talent is the single most important factor to a company’s success. Without the right talent, your company will just be stationary and run in place. To attract and retain your employees, you have to work with them and help them customise their jobs. Ultimately, this will make people feel valued, which will lead to peak performance. The solution is to be flexible and collaborative with hours, holidays and location.
What is Workplace Flexibility?
Workplace flexibility is when an employee and an employer make changes to when, where and how a person will work, to better meet individual and business needs. Flexibility enables both individual and business needs to be met by making changes to the time, the location and the manner in which an employee works. It is important that flexibility is mutually beneficial to both the employer and the employee and result in better outcomes.
Different Types of Workplace Flexibility
- Formal Flexibility Policies: These policies are officially approved human resource policies, as well as any official policies that give supervisors discretion to provide flexibility.
- Informal Flexibility Policies: These policies are not official and are not recorded but are still available to some employees, even on a discretionary basis.
Global Talent Pool
If your employees do not need to be in the office, your talent is suddenly global. You can build productive relationships with talent across the country or even worldwide. Distance is becoming increasingly irrelevant with the increased use of social networks, project-specific groups and teleconferencing.
When you work with people to customise their work/life balance, you should not impose anything on them. This shows you are treating them with respect and trust, which in turn will be returned. When an employee chooses to work from home for three days out of the week, this exhibits a huge commitment to the business. Instead of working for you, they are working with you. This builds a lot of trust and respect, along with improving your company culture.
Recent studies show that organisations that offer workplace flexibility have less absence and turnover, with also higher levels of engagement and productivity. This comes down to control. We all need to feel control of our lives and by working with your employees on flexibility, you grant them real control. They feel trusted and valued and their investment in the work and in the business will grow.
Many businesses today view workplace flexibility as a strategic move rather than an employee benefit. The more progressive and innovative your company is, the easier it will be to attract and retain employees. Those with a lot to offer want to work within a company that treats them like adults and have empathetic, energetic and progressive cultures.
The rise in telecommuting means that companies can save costs on supplies, real estate and utilities. Telecommuters can work anytime and anywhere as long as the work required gets completed.
Truly engaged employees don’t leave their job behind when they’re off the clock. They carry their current projects with them at all times and are always open to new inspiration or insight. Employees who are telecommuting or working on schedules that they helped design, means these workers are out in the world more, open to more input and away from the office environment where stagnation can sometimes set in. An employee with a well-rounded, active lifestyle will bring implemented core values to any job, and may well find new inspiration.
Telecommuting can be a challenge for managers. They can’t just approach someone in person to discuss an issue. Balancing schedules and workloads can also be complicated if you are managing telecommuters, although the results are worthwhile.
Workplace flexibility is a great leadership tool, and it is essential to make sure you are using it to its’ full potential.