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Creating an engaging workplace environment can help you attract all sorts of candidates, as well as create a good reputation for your company. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

The best businesses are focused, efficient, and regimented... right? Not always. In truth, many businesses thrive rather than just survive because they are more flexible than their competitors. Indeed, workplace flexibility can benefit your employees, your peace of mind, and your bottom line at the same time.

But what is workplace flexibility, and how can you improve it? This article will break down how to boost workplace flexibility in detail.

Workplace Flexibility Explained

Simply put, workplace flexibility is your organization's ability to adapt or overcome unexpected, changing, or sudden circumstances. It's usually defined in terms of schedule or time flexibility, such as offering multiple schedule types for employees, being reasonable with free time and work-life balance, and so on.

"For example, say that you have a big project that needs to be completed by the end of the week," says Mina Elias, CEO and Founder of Trivium Group. "However, you have an employee who suddenly becomes sick with COVID-19. You can't ask them to come into work in good conscience or without compromising everyone else in the office.

"If you have high workplace flexibility, you'll be able to overcome this difficulty and complete your project on time, such as by having a freelancer take on the sick employee's workload, calling in another employee, or something else."

If you have low workplace flexibility, on the other hand, you'll find that it's almost impossible to tackle challenges you didn't anticipate beforehand. While that's an admirable goal, no executive is able to anticipate every possibility.

On top of that, workplace flexibility offers significant benefits that shouldn't be discounted.

Workplace Flexibility Benefits

For starters, workplace flexibility allows you to improve your talent pool by drawing top talent from throughout your industry. When qualified job candidates hear that you have open positions and that you offer remote work schedules, they'll be more likely to apply for your organization than a competing company. Essentially, improving workplace flexibility lets you broaden your talent pool to more qualified workers.

"That's a big deal when you consider just how willing many Millennial workers are to switch companies if they hear of a better deal," says Matt Miller, Founder and CEO of Embroker. "Lots of modern workers don't feel that companies are loyal to them, so employee loyalty is also in short supply."

That's not all that workplace flexibility brings to the table. It can also significantly reduce worker turnover. You want to minimize employee attrition as much as possible. If you make your workplace

flexible in terms of schedule and employee time, you'll make your workplace more enjoyable overall. That makes it less likely employees will leave your organization for another.

Lastly, flexibility in the workplace strengthens your brand overall and improves employee loyalty to your company. That's an invaluable asset as you compete in the global marketplace.

"Employee loyalty is directly correlated with better brand productivity, improved revenue, and even better connections with your target audience members," says Natalia Morozova, Partner at Cohen, Tucker & Ades P.C.. "Therefore, improving workplace flexibility can only benefit your company in the long run, and in many important ways."

6 Ways to Improve Workplace Flexibility

Luckily, there are many ways in which you can improve workplace flexibility at your organization right now. These strategies are relatively easy to implement, especially if you consider what works best for your employees.

Implement Flexible Scheduling

One of the easiest ways to improve workplace flexibility is to simply give your employees flexible scheduling options. Benjamin Earley, CEO of HOLT says, "For example, allow employees to come in on a Saturday if Monday is a bad time for them due to childcare responsibilities, working another job, or something else entirely."

People like to work for companies that take care of them and respect their time, especially those that provide the opportunity for a good work-life balance. "Lots of modern employers are discovering that they have to allow for a work-life balance instead of just offering a high salary," says Michael Burghoffer, CEO of PicoSolutions. "That's doubly true now that many Millennial workers are starting families in their prime working years."

By implementing flexible scheduling, you show your employees that:

  • You understand their time is valuable
  • You will make it a priority to ensure they can balance their other life responsibilities

This does wonders for workplace morale, employee productivity, and employee loyalty across the board. On top of that, schedule flexibility touches on a truth of the modern workplace many managers seem to forget: it doesn't matter when a lot of work gets done, so long as it gets done on time or before a deadline.

Therefore, try to give people a bit more slack when it comes to scheduling themselves or doing their work at a time and place that works for them. "You might also consider implementing policies like work-cations, allowing people to work remotely while taking a bit of time away from the office," says Annie Ricci, Sr Manager of Digital Marketing at Prima. "Work-cations ensure that important work still gets done without compromising mental health."

Offer Remote/Hybrid Work

Speaking of time away from the office, many companies now offer remote or hybrid work schedules. "You'll likely need to do this if you want to stay at a competitive and attractive company for top talent in your industry," says Serdar Ozenalp, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Ocoza.

Remote working schedules broaden your talent pool and allow employees to continue working for your brand even if they don't show up at the office at all. Hybrid work schedules are perfect for working parents who may need to pick up their kids from school or watch kids during some days of the week. Then, they can come into the office or workplace the rest of the time.

In any case, you can improve workplace flexibility by offering these working schedules and formats to each of your employees. As an added bonus, the more employees of yours who work remotely or in a hybrid context, the less office space you need to rent and pay down each month!

Don't Shy Away from Part-Time Workers

Some employers have a bias against part-time workers, even if they only need someone to work 10 to 20 hours per week. Don't be like these employers!

If a part-time job position crops up, fill it with a part-time worker. If that worker does a phenomenal job, of course, you can keep them in mind for a full-time promotion later down the road. Part-time workers are also convenient to have "on call" if you ever have someone call out sick or otherwise become suddenly unavailable (as in the example detailed above).

Consider Freelancers

"You can and should rely on freelancers from time to time to fill in gaps in your labor force," says Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer at Paradigm Peptides. Say that you have a major project coming up and you need another five employees to manage the workload. However, once the project is done, you'll go back to your regular workload.

The answer isn't hiring five new employees. It's hiring five freelancers for a one-time gig. Freelance hiring is now easier than ever with online platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, so consider using these resources to bolster your workforce when it's appropriate.

Reconsider Breaktime

You can also bolster workplace flexibility by reconsidering how long your employees have to take breaks.

"For example, you can give your employees a break room or have your employees leave their desks during lunch," says Asker A Ahmed, Director at iProcess. "To incentivize this, give them a lunch credit or offer free food at the workplace. This gets people moving and helps keep the office or workplace a limber, agile place."

You may also want to consider lengthening the standard lunch break. This ties into giving your employees more schedule flexibility. By lengthening the lunch break, you give your employees time to return home to check on their kids or pets, run a few errands, or do other things integral to a proper work-life balance.

Limit Workplace Meetings

Last but not least, take a long and hard look at all the workplace meetings you call each week. Ask yourself: are all of those meetings truly necessary, especially in person? Odds are the answer will be no.

With that in mind, try to limit unnecessary workplace meetings as much as you can. Monte Deere, CEO of Kizik says, "If a workplace meeting isn't absolutely necessary, cancel it. Your employees can spend that time on their personal lives, doing work at their desks, or elsewhere."

If a meeting absolutely has to happen, of course, you should hold it. However, if a meeting can be canceled or if the information contained within can be delivered via an email or a video conferencing meeting (much more flexible by design), change it up. Meetings should be tools, not chains by which the office schedule is bound.


At the end of the day, improving workplace flexibility should be a chief concern for any executive. By boosting workplace flexibility, you'll make your business a better place for your employees, keep your brand agile enough to respond to new developments, and have an easier time adjusting to new market shifts. Consider implementing these tips today to see how well they work for your company!