The Value of Flexibility
Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Alright, if you are feeling like me, you are “over” the notion “that things will return to normal.” Quite frankly I hope everything does not return to pre-pandemic. I have learned the value of communication, relationships, flexibility, and dedicated “think” time.
As a recently assigned Interim, Director of Human Resources & Risk Management, for a Special District in Oregon, I have seen firsthand that employees have enjoyed the benefits of remote work. Of course, some have experienced drawbacks as well—distractions at home, a lack of face time with colleagues, diminished work-life balance, and a tendency to work more hours.
However, as more people get vaccinated and we begin to round another corner of change, employees are looking for clear direction from their leaders as to what will come next.
And this is where a hybrid model comes in. In a hybrid workplace model, employees can work in different spaces, including corporate offices, coworking spaces, public spaces, and from home.
Studies after studies have been done, and a consistent theme has revealed that most workers expect to continue working from home at least a few days a week, and businesses intend to support this arrangement because productivity has generally not declined due to remote working. However, people also desperately need to have spaces outside of their homes to work from, and companies recognize this need.
Perhaps most importantly, we learned that when employees gain the flexibility they crave, their companies benefit from higher productivity, engagement, and loyalty. Employees’ desire for greater control, flexibility, and freedom in where and when they work is at the very core of hybrid. It may have taken a pandemic to reveal that giving workers what they want is beneficial for the bottom line—but now that companies have leaped, the future of work is bright. And the future is hybrid.
Tangible Benefits & Perks
Employees continue to remind us they want flexibility so much that they’d be willing to give up some of the most valuable benefits and perks they receive from their employer, in exchange for flexibility. One of the biggest tangible freedoms is for an employee to the flexibility to choose their work environment.
It goes without saying that not every position is set up to have the freedoms of remote work. But what are you willing to sacrifice, to continue to support flexibility as a benefit or perk?
The future of work is hybrid
As we emerge from an unprecedented year of change and challenges, it is clear that work as we know it has been forever transformed. Remote work has proven to be overwhelmingly successful; however, there are numerous benefits provided by offices and other locations that simply cannot be replicated in the home environment. There is no question that a hybrid approach will be the way forward for the vast majority of companies—it offers the flexibility and freedom that workers want, and benefits businesses too.
Now it’s up to companies to pave the way, by offering the right spaces, tools, and resources to help employees be successful. If you find yourself in this space, but not knowing where to begin, reach out. Together we can create a future work environment that meets the business need, creates a culture of flexibility, and supports your company values.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org