Flexible people in the workplace don’t just enjoy advantages over other workers but they also provide their employers advantages over their competitors. Learn how flexibility can help both employer and employee in this post.
In this article:
- How Being Flexible Can Benefit Employees
- How Workplace Flexibility Can Benefit Others (Employers, Businesses, and the Environment)
7 Reasons to Have Flexible People in the Workplace
How Being Flexible Can Benefit Employees
1. Flexible People Can Have a Better Quality of Life
When a person is mentally and emotionally flexible at work, he or she can adjust to have a work-life balance. Take for example, the need to get regular exercise.
Inflexible people often stick to just one schedule or type of workout. When their work schedules or workloads change, they won’t adjust their exercise schedules or their workouts to accommodate the change.
But, for flexible people, they can easily switch to a more condensed form of physical training that requires a shorter time, if needed. They still get regular exercise to stay healthy regardless of any curveballs life throws at them.
Flexible people also enjoy the benefit of having the ability to quickly adapt to increasing demands from work. Flexible workers are often very creative, too, which allows them to find solutions to work challenges as they arise.
Another great benefit of being flexible is the ability to keep stress levels at bay.
Flexible people won’t be as rattled by unexpected challenges at work or at home compared to inflexible people. Since they can easily adjust and do what it takes to overcome unexpected challenges, they’re not always stressed out.
Also, since they’re able to maintain a healthy work-life balance, keep stress at bay, and adapt quickly to changes, flexible workers are often healthier than inflexible ones. All of these benefits can also translate to a better quality of financial life through greater savings because you can save up on medical expenses.
2. Being Flexible in the Workplace Can Optimize Personal Productivity
Flexible people also tend to be the most productive people at work. Why?
Flexible people are more likely to overcome work challenges or adapt faster to changing work demands and conditions. As a result, they can get more things done and faster compared to those who can’t break an established routine.
And because they’re able to get more things done, they feel much better about themselves and their work. Therefore, flexible workers tend to enjoy greater job satisfaction than inflexible ones.
This is consistent with a published study by Bentley University. The study found that up to 77% of millennials think a flexible work schedule will increase their personal productivity.
3. Being Flexible in the Workplace Can Increase Career Opportunities
Flexible people are able to adjust to changes in the workplace much better and faster compared to those who’re inflexible. Because they’re able to quickly adjust to changing work demands, flexible people tend to learn new and important skills quickly and regularly.
As they continue growing in skills and experience, they become more in-demand in their field. As the years go by, more and more promotion opportunities will become available to them.
How Workplace Flexibility Can Benefit Others (Employers, Businesses, and the Environment)
4. Flexibility in the Workplace Fosters Greater Operating Efficiency
When business owners and senior management create a flexible work environment, it doesn’t just benefit employees — it benefits the business too.
A flexible work environment makes it easier to innovate and think of solutions that can optimize the business’ efficiency. The owners, management team, and staff are empowered to think and act out-of-the-box.
While flexibility in the workplace doesn’t mean anarchy or complete autonomy, a flexible work environment is one that keeps stringent rules and regulations to the most crucial aspects of the business only. It provides as much leeway as possible to make the business run more efficiently.
One example is allowing employees to work from home for most of the week as long as they’re able to deliver on time and turn in high-quality results.
And when speaking of operating efficiency, it’s unavoidable to talk about minimizing operating costs. A flexible work environment can help a business bring down its operating costs.
For example, letting employees telecommute as much as possible saves them from a lot of commuting stress, which includes having to wake up early and skip meals. This can help their employees live significantly less stressful lives, which can help improve their health.
Healthier and happier employees help a business minimize productivity losses, paid leaves, and even healthcare-related expenses via lower healthcare premiums.
A flexible work environment can also save businesses lots of money by way of employees’ commuting expenses. If employees can work from home most of the time, the business can offer lower salaries and quality job applicants will still be interested at the promise of working from home and avoiding daily commuting stress.
5. Attract and Retain High-Caliber and Flexible People
Businesses that foster and maintain flexible work environments will definitely have an edge in attracting top-caliber people to their roster.
Going back to the example of working from home on most days of the week unless required to be at the office, such flexibility is a big premium these days since it brings a lot of benefits to the employee. The ability to work from home is a premium benefit many workers would love to have in their jobs these days.
In fact, according to research by Global Work Analytics, two-thirds of employees want to work at home and as high as 36% would prefer this option over a pay raise.
More importantly, a very flexible work environment appeals to what’s called the “locus of control.”
People with an internal locus of control believe they’re primarily responsible for their destiny. Since they claim personal responsibility for successes and failures, they’re more motivated to work harder to succeed.
Those who have an external locus of control believe their successes and failures are due to luck and their environment. Because they don’t acknowledge personal responsibility, they’re not as motivated or hardworking.
A flexible working environment provides employees with a lot of freedom to accomplish things. Thus, it can attract people with an internal locus of control.
According to a survey conducted by Zenefits.com, 77% of employees consider a flexible working environment as a major factor when choosing future jobs.
If a flexible work environment can attract top-tier talents, it may also help in retaining them. According to the Staples Workplace Survey, 67% of employees might leave their current jobs if they became very rigid.
6. Increased Productivity
It goes without saying that productive employees make for a productive business as well, and a flexible work environment is one of the most influential factors of employee productivity.
7. A Flexible Working Environment Reduces Pollution
Yes, a flexible working environment can help the environment, too.
A flexible working environment that allows its employees to, among other things, work from home or work less total hours, which minimizes their need to commute. When employees commute less, they reduce their carbon footprints.
In a published study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, researchers concluded that a reduction of even just 0.50% in total work hours would probably mitigate from 25% to 50% of global warming that hasn’t locked in yet.
With a more flexible working environment and schedule, businesses may need less working spaces. And less office space will lead to less demand for resources, and consequently, reduce people’s carbon footprints or environmental impacts.
Flexible people at work are some of the most important assets of any business. Not only do companies and stakeholders benefit from this, but it has perks for the environment as well.
What do you think is the primary advantage of flexible people in the workplace from the point of view of an employee, manager, or owner? Let us know in the comments section below.