The Value of Flexibility

In today’s quasi-post-pandemic environment, certain skills have become more important for successful performance on the job. Leaders need to encourage these in their employees, and to provide support if they are undeveloped.

We’ll be looking at three skills over the next few weeks, beginning today with flexibility. This competency takes on renewed significance if you are migrating towards a hybrid work structure, that is, working in the office for 2-3 days/week and work remotely for the balance.

The biggest test of flexibility, of course, arrived with a bang at the beginning of the pandemic. People who previously worked in offices found themselves setting up shop at home at their kitchen island or bedroom and after a rough start adapted amazingly well working from home.

Flexibility involves being able to make a change with minimal stress or strain. People who have this skill are those who “go with the flow” and don’t provoke major drama every time a change comes their way.

People who are accustomed to and comfortable with working from home may be hesitant to begin commuting to an office after so much time. That is completely understandable, and their degree of flexible will make a big difference in how quickly they adapt to such a change.

Leaders need to model this behavior and be flexible, too. If some of your employees currently have difficulties in resuming a commute, what with childcare or health issues for example, you’ll need to rationally evaluate these situations and determine what is in the best interests of all concerned.

In fact, it’s fair to say that flexibility is a key descriptor for the workplace of the future. We don’t know how that workplace will eventually settle in, but we do know that we can’t wait around for certainty. Everyone who can bend a little contributes to organizational flexibility.

Header image by Darina Belonogova of Pexels.

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