The level of ‘flexibility’ demonstrated by a workplace has been increasingly important to employers over the last two years. With this information, employers are implementing new strategies to attract potential workers. But what does it mean to conduct a flexible workplace?
What is flexibility in the workplace?
The pandemic has caused an incredible amount of uncertainty in the life of common individuals. With schools closed, children at home, offices shut down and pandemic related stresses, employers have many factors to take into consideration to ensure the well-being of their teams.
According to recent studies, flexibility is a topic that is now top of mind in job interviews. Before questions of pay, common interviewee concerns include opportunities to work from home, remote work and time off.
With the pandemic forcing office work to be conducted at home, many individuals have found that the flexibility involved with working remotely are a huge benefit. This includes working from home, out of country or at a cottage.
If a job doesn’t necessarily need workers close by, the benefits of letting employees work remotely can inspire employees to be in a better mindset. If workers do need to be in office at some points but not at others, this can be resolved with simple scheduling tactics.
On the other hand, some workers do enjoy being in office. If possible, in-office days or group gatherings can be extremely valuable to increase morale and bring a team closer together.
As a leader in a post-pandemic world, flexibility stems from being empathetic. This is a trait that has great meaning to workers.
Being an empathetic leader has many benefits. This includes a higher rate of employee satisfaction, engagement and enthusiasm.
With work-related burnout on the rise, it is important for employers to make their teams aware that they are entitled to a healthy work-life balance. This includes making yourself open to discussing workloads of employees and encouraging them to take time to spend with their families and friends.
This is not to say that employers are expected to give extra time off or avoid offloading important matters, it is simply a strategy that includes respecting the decisions of employees. For instance, if they decide against working evenings or have important matters that can interfere with an assignment, an employer must be empathetic and supportive. These conversations are critical to a healthy workplace and employers who are able to discuss this openly are statistically proven to operate in a much more productive and positive environment.
Employee burnout can be detrimental to a workplace. It can spread and leave your team unproductive and unmotivated.
However, there are ways to go about dealing with this common issue. Aside from making remote working optional and leading with empathy, burnout can more specifically be dealt with by strategically having plans in place for individual workers.
For instance, reasonable vacation time is something that employees are looking for more and more. Asking for extra vacation time can be nerve racking for many individuals but can also be very necessary to preventing burnout. Being available for these conversations is extremely important to creating an open and honest workplace.
Different employees have different needs. Creating a flexible and positive environment is mostly about promoting an open dialogue between your team and implementing new ways to better understand where employees are coming from. With a bit of work and a willingness to form deeper connections with your team, the benefits are endless.