Economics/Business

Flexibility at work examples/importance/benefits/impact/5 tips for adopting

Flexibility at work boils down to alternatives that allow employees to establish their own schedules and routine of activities. It is a management model consistent with the current market and the profile of new professionals. Flexibility at work examples

As an employee of a company, what benefits, in your opinion, are most attractive when choosing or leaving a job? Probably, the offer of flexibility at work was among the advantages that most caught your attention, right?

As something highly valued among professionals, this is one of the main incentives an organization can offer. Have you ever looked into this? But don’t think that it’s only the employee who wins, because here there are benefits for both sides .

If this is a differential that seems interesting to you, but you still don’t know how to implement it in your company, know that the first step has already been taken when you are interested in this reading.

We will discuss how this is an important process to value your team, explain the positive points, present examples of flexible management implementation and much more. Ready to become an even more competitive company?

Understanding the concept of flexibility at work

The flexible work model allows employees to set their own schedules and routine activities , being an alternative to the rigid and conventional pattern of working hours at headquarters and from 8 am to 6 pm, for example. Flexibility at work examples

The non-obligation to be present every day at the company, the possibility of negotiating the vacation period, of working longer hours one day to compensate the other, among other advantages, can also be understood as characteristics of this flexibility.

In the usual format, there is little room to negotiate the time to join or leave the company, as well as the production routine. 

However, companies attentive to market changes know that this is changing. Therefore, not offering autonomy to the employee is also harmful to them.

We know that people are different and not everyone has the same routine, let alone the same work style. 

This means that some are more motivated in the morning, others in the afternoon and there are still those who are seen as night owls.

So, if individuals are different, presenting different behavioral profiles , why adopt a single model of schedule and work format? Does that make sense to you? Well, know that for many professionals and institutions it doesn’t make any sense. Flexibility at work examples

Does flexible work really work?

This trend has already been analyzed and confirmed by several scholars in the area. To exemplify what we are saying, we brought the research of the International Workplace Group (IWG) .

The study, carried out with more than 15 thousand professionals, pointed out that the offer of flexible work is a decisive factor for professionals to choose among the opportunities offered by companies.

Seven out of ten people point out flexibility and the possibility of working remotely, as a tie-breaking criterion, if they had to decide on a vacancy. 

In this way, we can say that this is one of the benefits most valued by employees.

To complete the understanding of what flexibility at work is, keep in mind that the company’s activities, routines, processes and structuring styles allow the employee to have more autonomy and freedom in their actions.

Why flexible management is important

The more the company offers competitive differentials and benefits, the more it becomes relevant and desired by the best professionals. This reinforces its brand as a good employer and favors the best employee experience practices . Flexibility at work examples

In addition, it is important to be in tune with new market practices. Organizations are more attentive to offering a more humanized management model that is more aligned with people’s reality, considering that it changes constantly.

In the traditional work model, with inflexible rules and policies, it is more difficult for employees to resolve personal issues and, often, the lack of negotiation opportunities results in other problems for the company.

High absenteeism and presenteeism rates, employee demotivation, internal disagreements and excessive stress caused by the pressure of enforcement are examples of this.

Know that absenteeism is the situation in which the employee is absent from work, regardless of the reason. It is worth remembering that the cause of absence, in this case, may or may not be justified. 

Thus, the less freedom he has to adapt his work routine to his personal needs, the more he tends to miss it.

Presenteeism is defined when the employee is present, but their thoughts are outside the company. That is, physically he is at work, but his mind is elsewhere. 

Among other factors, this occurs when the worker has problems outside the institution and cannot go out to solve them. Flexibility at work examples

At this point, having a more flexible work routine is a necessary help and even a solution to employee conflicts.

The so-called “new normal”

We have a job market moving towards formats more focused on the needs of companies, both to reduce costs and to preserve the health of employees, especially in relation to the covid-19 pandemic.

The term “new normal” has been used a lot lately and it reflects significant changes in the life of society in general, especially in the labor field. 

For many organizations, this new normal has been due to the implementation of the home office format or the hybrid work model , widely adopted by companies during the pandemic – and a possible consequence of the crisis.

So, reasons such as reinforcing the employer brand, being aligned with new practices and the new market reality, and avoiding losses for the company are sufficient grounds to rethink the importance of having flexible management, right?

The main benefits for the parties

At the beginning of this article we said that the advantages of adopting a more flexible management are felt by both sides and now you will see how this happens.

For the company

A curious fact from the IWG survey , carried out in 2019, is that 54% of respondents said it is more important to have a flexible work format than to work in renowned companies in the market.

Therefore, in addition to attracting more qualified people to the vacancy, this is also a strategy to retain talents who seek this type of benefit from the company. Flexibility at work examples

In addition, according to the same survey, 85% of managers surveyed said their teams’ productivity increased when they invested in flexible working hours and locations .

In addition to more productivity, the possibility of working outside the company is also a reason to increase the happiness of workers — in relation to those who can only carry out their activities in the company. 

This was also proven in another study that found: employees who work full-time remotely are 22% happier than those who cannot perform their tasks remotely. 

Also, according to the same survey, they are 43% more productive than others. And what company doesn’t win when employees are happier?

Ah, did you miss numbers that reflect the financial advantages for the organization? Well, we also have this support to help you understand the benefits of flexibility at work.

Visible financial advantages

In the IWG report, 65% of companies said flexible workspace reduces CapEx and OpEx and helps manage company risk. 

Know that CapEx are the expenses with goods for the institution , the equity acquisitions. 

These expenses can be real estate, products and services purchased, per se, but they can also be those that the organization develops for its own business. Flexibility at work examples

OpEx , on the other hand, are operating expenses , focused on the company’s day-to-day activities, such as equipment maintenance , fuel, employee expenses, among others. The reduction with transport vouchers will be one of the most relevant advantages here.

So, we can say that having a more modern, flexible and adaptable work format reflects in improvements, including for the organization’s financial operations. 

In addition to all that we mentioned, other benefits can be perceived by companies that adopt flexible management, since workers are more satisfied when they are free. Check out:

  • reduction in the number of employees who are stressed and affected by occupational diseases ;
  • decrease in absenteeism rates;
  • lower turnover rate due to dissatisfaction with the company;
  • increased well-being at work;
  • improvement in the organizational climate ;
  • strengthening the relationship between company and employees. 

for collaborators

By having a flexible work format, employees have better opportunities to develop, practice self -management — by balancing their workload with the production goal — and understand the relevance of their role within the organization.

In addition, knowing that you will be able to plan your own routine without being overloaded with work tasks (or with private ones) is a satisfaction for the employee, as he will have more peace of mind to carry out each necessary action.

One of the surveys used in this article even pointed out that of the total of 1,200 professionals interviewed, between 22 and 65 years old, 91% believe that being able to work remotely brings a better balance between personal and professional life. Flexibility at work examples

For those who can leave at alternative times, reducing the time between the journey from home to work and vice versa is another advantage, since the time spent in traffic is one of the factors that most annoy and harm the worker.

Also, the employee will feel more valued and engaged with the company, as he will be able to carry out the tasks at the time when it is most productive and opportune for him, especially if there are many distractions in the organization. 

For those who work with goals, like the sales team , this is quite a motivator!

The impact of flexibility at work for the company

Offering work flexibility is not synonymous with accepting permanent delays and non-compliance with schedules or tasks. On the contrary. 

It is precisely to allow good individual management to be carried out and to reinforce the commitment to activities that managers should invest in this organizational format.

Having a flexible environment requires even more creativity than if the processes were standardized and very rigid, because flexibility demands different ideas to work around situations and carry out innovative work at the same time.

So, for both the company and the employees to be able to take the best advantage of this, it is necessary that both make a commitment. Follow and understand the responsibility of each party.

Understanding the role of HR

If the objective is to provide more versatility to employees, it is important for the organization to develop strategies to encourage commitment to work while encouraging individual freedom. Flexibility at work examples

Investing in specific tools to control working hours and working hours are actions that the company will need to take. 

An example of this is paying attention to the external point control, responsible for managing the entry and exit of the employee.

He doesn’t need to go to the company to register the shift, as there are applications for online timekeeping . This means that these systems allow the registration to be done remotely, by the employee’s cell phone.

Technology will also be an ally of HR to help identify the profiles of employees who prefer to have a more flexible routine and those who opt for a more formal structure and choose to develop activities in the company.

When the company has a digital HR , strategies such as people analytics, for example, are tools that will help in all actions that involve work flexibility. 

To fully understand the concept of people analytics, be sure to check out the complete guide we have prepared on how this strategy is used in people management .

With these technological resources it will be possible to stimulate worker productivity by understanding the main characteristics of the behavioral profile of each one .

Another advantage of technology is being able to monitor the workflow of teams, both for those who have a more flexible routine and for those who have stricter schedules. 

The management tools allow you to integrate the activities of each one and manage projects remotely and instantly. Flexibility at work examples

In addition, the HR sector will also play a fundamental role in providing support to managers when distributing tasks, taking into account the characteristics of each employee and understanding how each one performs in the face of this flexibility.

Explaining the role of employees

In addition to investing in technologies that will help the Human Resources sector and leaders to better manage the journey, another HR function is to help raise awareness of the role of employees when it comes to flexibility.

They need to make sure they have:

  • focus and discipline in carrying out the tasks;
  • commitment to deliveries so as not to impact the progress of projects;
  • willpower to adapt to the process;
  • responsibility for using resources correctly to monitor activities and control the workday by managers;
  • awareness of their ability to perform a certain task when they can choose which action to perform.

What a company needs to have to adopt this model

The most direct tip for this topic would be: willingness to change the company culture , as this is one of the main obstacles encountered by organizations that intend to invest in a more flexible working model.

For this, it will be necessary to develop strategies, in partnership with HR, to promote the idea of ​​flexibility at work with autonomy and responsibility. Flexibility at work examples

This is one of the main requirements that a company needs to have to take the first steps in this process.

Keep in mind that offering this model of work is independent of the size, size or segment of the organization. As there are several forms of flexibility, it is necessary to evaluate which ones best fit your business.

Top examples of flexibility at work

The main objective of offering flexibility is to make the work dynamics more advantageous for both of you. And for this to be done successfully, it is necessary to understand well what the company’s routine is like and evaluate how the parties can benefit.

Also because there are employees who do not like flexible hours and prefer to have a more regimented routine, with the right time to enter and leave the company every day. 

So, thinking about promoting a positive environment for everyone, check out some examples of how you can adopt this format in your organization.

flexible working hours 

The workload is one of the easiest features to adapt and can be adopted by companies of any size or segment. 

The idea is that the worker can choose between a variable schedule, in shift or free, as long as he fulfills his daily or weekly journey properly. 

Variable

This is a model in which the employee chooses the best daily workload. For example, the best time to join and leave the organization .

From this choice, he must fulfill the agreed schedule every day.

Fixed variable (shift)

Here, the company offers shift options and the employee chooses the one that best suits him. It is an interesting format, as a boundary is drawn between the needs of both parties.

For example, a company that needs to have business hours defined because of the type of business, such as from 7 am to 8 pm, can put a shift for those who like to start work earlier and another for those who prefer to arrive later. Flexibility at work examples

Free

Finally, there is freestyle when it comes to flexibility at work. Here, the employee does not have a fixed time to enter or leave the company , but the commitment to only fulfill his daily or weekly workload, regardless of when he arrives or leaves. 

home office

Another way to offer more flexibility is to implement work from home , a model widely adopted since the arrival of the covid-19 pandemic. 

The home office allows workers to carry out their activities from home, but this modality is not the same as external work.

The difference here is that external work is when the employee does not perform his tasks at the company, but is allocated in specific locations or serving clients, for example. Therefore, the labor rules are different in these cases.

hybrid work format

If the home office is a reality that cannot be fully implemented at the moment your company is, there is the hybrid work model, in which part of the journey is carried out in the organization and part in the worker’s home.

This is also a format that has become widely adopted with the easing of social distancing, caused by the pandemic. Thus, employees go to the company some days of the week and, on others, they stay at home and are less exposed to the contagion of the disease. Flexibility at work examples

To promote a healthy return to headquarters, check out our guide on how to ensure employee safety when returning to face-to-face activities .

Change in workspaces

It was not for nothing that we said that adopting a more flexible routine does not depend on the size of the company and that there are several ways to do this. 

Do you want a clearer example than allowing employees to work, within the company, but in other environments ?

Make it possible for staff to take their notebook to work on the balcony, in a sunny hallway or even standing on a counter, to allow them to change their position, if they prefer. 

Also, if a workspace has vacated and another has always wanted to work there, why not switch?

These are simple changes, but they impact the employee’s perception of the company and improve the quality of deliveries.

task flexibility

This is a form of flexibility that involves availability, trust in the team and open communication on the part of the manager, as it boils down to allowing workers to do the activities with which they have the most affinity.

If the company has a new project and several demands will be delegated to the team, why not let each one choose the task they want to perform or in which area to work? 

At this point, it is important to guide the manager to let the process flow naturally, without major interference, and to monitor the progress of individual actions. Flexibility at work examples

5 tips for adopting flexibility at work

Implementing a more flexible routine is not an obligation for companies, but have you noticed how advantageous it is? 

If you were able to see more advantages than disadvantages and want to implement this model right now, be sure to check out our tips!

1. Choose measurements that fit your business

You saw that there are several ways to make the work routine more flexible, right? However, they will only make sense if they are chosen correctly and according to the reality of the organization.

There is no point, for example, in offering the possibility of working from a home office if the company does not provide efficient resources , such as notebooks, with which employees can work from home. 

In the same way, it is not at all effective to demand that employees have a rigorous timekeeping and not offer a tool with which they can do it from home, automatically. 

Also, it’s inefficient to offer privileges that don’t match the team’s profile, and that brings us to the next topic.

2. Know your employees

Maybe you’re considering whether it’s worth investing in flexible hours because you’ve realized that your employees aren’t responsible for working hours and you’re afraid that instead of offering benefits, you’ll get new problems. Flexibility at work examples

Your concern is justified, but keep in mind that to offer the most advantageous resource for them (and for the company) you need to know the characteristics of the people on your staff.

If you understand that they are irresponsible with schedules, in addition to having to work on this in the organizational culture, it will be necessary to evaluate alternatives that, in addition to flexibility, provide an opportunity for better individual management.

Another important point is to offer forms of flexibility according to each need or profile. 

Example: if the company prefers to adopt the home office, but there are employees who do not adapt to this style, it is interesting to think of ways for them to benefit in other ways.

3. Invest in remote control

As the home office is one of the most adopted measures by companies in this context, a very important point is to offer resources so that workers can schedule their journey but, above all, that the company can access and manage it efficiently.

Among other features, it is possible to know exactly where the employee is in cases where the platform offers the geolocation system . 

That way, when he starts work and marks the time with his device, his manager will be able to know his exact location and monitor what time he started and ended his activities.

This is a system also suitable for other modalities, such as external work and hybrid model. 

So, if your company works with clocking – which is mandatory for companies with more than 20 people – this can be a very useful tool. Flexibility at work examples

4. Provide activity management platforms

Flexible working requires task management platforms that are practical, intuitive and that provide access to the entire team. It is not possible to follow the steps of a project if each collaborator has their individual spreadsheet, do you agree?

Tools such as Trello, Kanban Tool , Asana and Google Drive are some of the most used in the corporate world and you cannot fail to invest if the objective is to facilitate the integration of those responsible and speed up the updating of each process.

5. Dedicate yourself to changing organizational culture 

Taking the first steps towards organizational flexibility requires a change in mindset throughout the institution. 

This means that not only workers, but managers and leaders will also have to adapt to the needs that will arise and offer support to those they lead.

Therefore, invest in training for the entire team and guide managers to implement changes. Certainly, they will be the bridge that the company needs to succeed in the adaptation and throughout the process.

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