How employers and employees understand workplace flexibility has significantly changed in recent years. As in other aspects of life within the company, the pandemic has accelerated changes or, at least, reflections prior to those changes, which are intended to lead companies to better adaptation to current circumstances.
In this context, the way workers conceptualize and prioritize their needs is changing, and so is the way organizations are trying to respond to this new mentality.
Why is workplace flexibility useful?
It is easy to think that customizing your workplace is one of the professional dreams of any employee in any company and productive sector.
However, at ifeel, we know that for this to happen, it is essential that the employee in question knows what they want or need to work better, i.e., to have a better life. They must also know how to define it operationally and feel authorized to request it from their company.
The connection between companies and employees
Moreover, there can be no workplace flexibility in a rigid organization, which is only concerned with the quality of the professional profile of its employees but disconnected from their characteristics and circumstances. In other words, a company is disconnected from the real employee benefits and installed in a rigid vision of the relationship between the organization and the people who form it.
Let’s look at the lessons of nature and architecture. For example, it escapes no one’s notice that if reeds were rigid, they would not withstand any storm. Similarly, buildings constructed in seismic zones need solid foundations and, more importantly, a great capacity to withstand the ground’s tremors and keep up with them so as not to collapse completely.
Labor flexibility as a means of adaptation
Companies that provide their employees with the right conditions for workplace flexibility are the ones that are adapting best to the labor disasters we are experiencing today. It is as if they know how to read the ground’s vibrations, the power of hurricanes, and the degree of inclination that they must allow their walls not to collapse when problems appear.
Traditionally, workplace flexibility has been understood in a relatively narrow way. A few schedule modifications here and there, some economic modifications… little else. Today, however, the needs expressed by workers regarding their well-being at work are broadening the understanding of workplace flexibility.
Ways to apply workplace flexibility
1. Adapting the timetable
The schedule remains the main arena for establishing an efficient dialogue between the needs of employees and the company, not only in terms of the time of arrival and departure but also in terms of the number of hours that actually need to be worked each day to achieve the objectives. Therefore, HR managers, today can (and should) consider new ways of using and allocating time to be efficient.
2. The workplace
This has a lot to do with the second critical scenario in which we look at workplace flexibility: where the work happens. Many companies are unable (or unwilling) to develop new work formats that provide their employees with greater work flexibility. Others, however, openly discuss with team members what is best for them at any given time: on-site, remote work, or a hybrid model.
3. Organization at work
Thirdly, and without diverting from these issues, work flexibility also refers to the ability of employees to design their own agenda of objectives, depending on the particular control they want to exercise over their time and the results they wish to achieve in terms of salary and financial and emotional performance.
In short, HR managers who understand the new flexible work arrangements will have a secret weapon at the disposal of their teams. This can make the difference between being at the mercy of the wind and earthquakes or being able to adapt smoothly to the demands of the moment.
Caring for emotional well-being in organizations
At ifeel, we know that companies are successful when they know how to adjust their operating strategies to the changing circumstances of the people who make up their teams.
To understand this concept, our team of psychologists, experts in well-being at work, has created an emotional well-being program for companies that can guide HR managers in this task and help the rest of the company’s members.
With this service, HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on improving the psychological well-being of the teams in their charge. If you are part of the HR department in your organization, we recommend that you try our program now and see how it could help you.
This program offers all employees a complete mental health care service that they can access in different ways depending on their needs. Those who wish to have access to an online therapy service with one of our psychologists specialized in cases like theirs or interact with one of our professionals to receive emotional support in a more specific circumstance that worries them.
Of course, in our Resources section, you can find different materials that will help you with many of your day-to-day functions as part of the HR department. For example, podcasts, HR guides on various topics (e.g., employee experience or how to design a good HR strategy), or Interviews with leading HR executives. In addition, we have a Psychosocial Risk Factors Template, which you can use to comply with the requirements of the Labor Inspectorate.
We hope you found this post on ways to apply workplace flexibility interesting. If you would like more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, simply request it, and we will contact your team as soon as possible.