How to Turn Flexibility into Success

Back, Contributor
Jul 16 2018
How to Turn Flexibility into Success
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Flexibility in the workplace environment is a booming topic and is becoming a main attribute that employees look for. Flexibility means giving employees the chance to make their own decisions related to work tasks and responsibilities as well as when, where, and how to complete their work. This is often associated with work life balance and autonomy.

Although flexibility sounds great in theory, the famous question remains on the debate table; can productivity and flexibility be balanced? Will flexibility affect creativity and efficiency among employees?

Flexibility in the workplace is a main topic that concerns employers and hiring managers specifically. It should be discussed as it impacts job seekers’ decisions when they search for jobs and evaluate their offers. According to surveys conducted by – the largest job site in the Middle East –flexibility including work life balance, and workplace culture are among the most important priorities and essential job attributes for professionals today.

Strict and overly traditional workplace environments tend to establish weak points and limitations in the overall culture, which can easily lower innovation and productivity levels due to unnecessary routines and restrictive rules placed. Some companies perceive this as the kind of environment needed for the nature of their work; and while that may be true, it is very unlikely that the company will be able to stand out and attract and retain the top talents.

Leading companies across different industries recognize that human capital is a vital part of the company’s success. As a result, many employers are becoming more flexible by adopting less strict policies, tailoring and modifying work schedules to meet their employee’s needs, introducing remote-work options and other elements that are needed to attract and retain the right talents.

Every situation faced in life has a win-win option to benefit all parties. When employees feel they are trusted and given more control on how to schedule their time in performing their tasks and responsibilities then they appreciate and value their managers more. As a result, employees work to give back their maximum potential to meet their manager’s expectations. Thus, the idea of employees working for managers becomes employees working with managers towards organizational goals and objectives.

The reality is it doesn’t matter how, where or when the task is done, as long as the employee is putting in their maximum efforts in delivering their tasks and meeting the deadlines and objectives.

There are many known benefits that accompany workplace flexibility for employees such as higher motivation and improved work life balance. However, some employers do not see what benefits are in it for them and to their businesses. has shared some of these benefits:

  • Enhanced creativity and innovation

When employers meet employees’ needs, they reach a win-win deal. That is employees tend to feel motivated and trusted, thus they will connect more with their managers. Also, when they aren’t stressed about the company’s strict environment, they are given more creativity-inducing space and are encouraged to lead their own path outside the box.

  • Increases employer brand attractiveness

When employers implement a flexible work environment they increase their chances to retain their top talents and attract a broader pool of applicants. Many job seekers today look for friendly and relaxed work culture and flexibility when they apply for jobs, and that highly affects their decision in joining.

  • Improved customer service and increased loyalty

The flexible work hours means that there is always someone who works beyond the typical work shift of 9-5. Clients aren’t always available to reach you during those hours and thus the employer might end up losing clients and their loyalty. Companies that are available outside the 9-5 hours and whenever the customer has needs are perceived as highly valuable.

  • Less work-related stress

Work related stress can come from hours of traffic jam and commuting or the strict workplace environment. When employees are in control of their working hours and time then this reduces the stress associated and improves the quality of tasks performed.

Companies should take the flexibility matter into consideration when creating or altering their workplace culture and environment. Many things change when flexibility is implemented such as increased teamwork, innovation, efficiency and productivity. However, managers are expected to place a formal procedure with employees to ensure that both ends are delivering their best and that flexibility doesn’t lead to absenteeism.

Change is the only constant and it is equally found in our lifestyles, priorities and workplaces. Preferences in the MENA region have changed as well. Referring to the Preferred Work Arrangements in the Middle East and North Africa poll, professionals and job seekers prioritize flexibility, autonomy, friendly workplace environment, and work life balance over other attributes when looking for a job.