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Workplace Flexibility – The Way of the Future

As 2020 draws to a close, companies around the world will remember this past year that completely changed the dynamics of the work culture. No other year has seen such accelerated change to how we work, where we work and how we keep connected. It has been a transformative 12 months.

Flexibility in the workplace means quickly adapting to changing circumstances and expectations. The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has placed flexible work arrangements, especially telework, in the spotlight.

Employee needs and desires have shifted. Flexible work schedules are no longer an added benefit but an expectation. The pandemic’s radical disruption of office work has shown that people need different environments for different tasks.

Businesses must adapt – not fit their employees into a box but allow them the freedom to do their best work. Supporting flexible work in a pandemic-altered workplace is a sound business decision for employers.

Benefits of alternative work options:

Employees prefer the ability to make alternative work arrangements – any scheduling pattern that deviates from the traditional Monday through Friday 9 to 5 work week.

There is a business rationale behind the concept of flexibility:

  1. Improved creativity
  2. Increased customer service and loyalty
  3. Strengthens employer brand
  4. Reduces turnover
  5. Improved talent pool
  6. Reduced occupational stress
  7. Cost savings

Types of flexibility in the workplace:

Workplace flexibility does not just mean working remotely - all types of working arrangements, including when to take breaks, working from home or care giving leave.

a. Job sharing

b. Flexible scheduling

c. Compressed workweek

d. Remote work

e. Permanent part-time working arrangements

f. Freelancing

Managing flexibility in the workplace:

Businesses must consider flexibility when cultivating their work culture. Every organisation should think through and define flexibility will work in its particular case. One size does not fit all.

  1. Stay in compliance: The company’s legal counsel should review flexible work program proposals to ensure that the business is compliant with their country’s employment laws. They should also think through all organisational implications before executing any strategies.
  2. Assess the requirement: Talk to employees and check with them which types of flexibility would work for them.
  3. Build the infrastructure: Businesses should not assume that the company’s technology can support virtual workers. Test the infrastructure to uncover potential problems.
  4. Stay connected: Imperative to stay connected with employees in flexible work arrangements.
  5. Develop self-directed teams: Informal strategies are often more effective than formal policies in managing work-life flexibilities.

Our take on it:

Unprecedented workplace flexibility for businesses to meet the new reality – it has become indispensable. Work is becoming location agnostic. 2021 will see hybrid work structures become the norm.

Flexibility has ushered in a new era of productivity, inclusiveness, and connectedness. Flexible working is practical, and here to stay.

About ExpenseOnDemand  

ExpenseOnDemand was founded in 2003 with a vision to enable companies and their talent to focus on their core job by offering a smart, simple, and intuitive expense management solution. We serve as a one stop solution for all the expense management needs of small & medium size businesses (SMBs). Our goal is to offer customers a leap in value. Our mission is to help SMBs automate their employee expense process at a price which is not a burden for any business. Deeply discounted prices are offered to select SMBs & Charities, with a view to reduce the financial burden, save costs, free resources, and alleviate lives. We make it simple to capture, process and share financial information instantly. A unique combination of AI-powered & OCR technology and machine learning turns documents into digital data faster, with a level of accuracy you can trust. This for us, in our own little way, is revolutionising the way the world works! In short, we have removed the “fear” from the fear of automation.

Image Credit: Christin Hume / Unsplash