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The 7 pillars of flexibility

The flexibility at your workplace can be broken down into 7 overall pillars

One employee at Worksome working

Your success in this new era of work will be defined by your ability to challenge outdated business norms and ask what really makes sense.

The most successful companies of tomorrow will understand that giving their employees flexibility is the best way to empower them, to stay motivated, engaged, and to do great work.

We’ve broken down 7 areas employers can consider when looking to build a more flexible workplace.

The 7 pillars

Flexibility for workers can mean a few different things and we’ve broken it down into 7 pillars employers can consider when looking to build a more flexible workplace that empowers their talent.

Location

After a year of remote working, many people have new ideas about how location affects their work — and the results are far from one size fits all. Smart companies will allow employees to decide on their work location, and trust that they understand their own needs better than their employer does. They’ll also create infrastructure that supports a more flexible workplace.

Advantages

Flexibility of human resources

Attracts better talent

Increased motivation

Flexibility range
Similar education
Wide Ranging Educational
Always in office
Working from anywhere

Autonomy

Employers are now handing over an increasing level of trust and autonomy to their workers, prioritizing trust and empowering them to make the right decisions for the business.  

Flexibility here looks at your ability to move away from a hierarchical approach to decision making and trust your employees to make decisions and hold themselves accountable for their own work.

Advantages

Better employee engagement and development

Better employee productivity

More efficient teams

Flexibility range
Similar education
Wide Ranging Educational
Dependant
Autonomous

Time

People increasingly want the chance to adapt their working hours to their individual needs. This may mean starting earlier if they’re a morning person, or taking a break in the afternoon to pick up their kids from school.  

Time flexibility means allowing your employees to work whenever makes the most sense for them, and helps enable workforce collaboration across different time zones.  

Advantages

Attracts better talent

Flexibility to better meet personal schedules

Collaboration across time zones

Flexibility range
Similar education
Wide Ranging Educational
Fixed hours
Independent hours

Collaboration

Flexibility here means increasing opportunities for cross-functional collaboration wherever possible, instead of limiting their work to only one team. This gives employees the flexibility to learn about different aspects of the business, stretch themselves in new ways, and consider lateral moves to different areas of the business. It helps them shape their own career journey with your company.

Advantages

Promotes knowledge sharing

Improves social climate

Improves employee development

Flexibility range
Similar education
Wide Ranging Educational
Siloed work
Collaborative teams

Values

Our personal values and priorities guide us,  and can influence us in many different areas of our lives. Do you feel like you need to mold your ideas and values to fit with your employer’s? Or do you feel empowered to bring your own ideas and values to your work?

When an employee lives in conflict with their values, they’ll struggle to stay motivated and their performance will sharply decline. Companies that allow for flexibility in different values and priorities ensure their teams will stay happy and fulfilled in their work.

Advantages

Employees more invested in their work

Improved satisfaction and wellbeing

More diversity of thought

Flexibility range
Similar education
Wide Ranging Educational
Rigid values & ideas
Wide range of values & ideas

Diversity

A diverse workforce makes your company stronger by giving you a more rounded mix of ideas and points of view. But you'll need to take the right steps to encourage and foster a more diverse place. 

By making sure all employees feel respected and heard, advertising job openings on a wider range of sites, and coaching hiring managers in unconscious biases, you create a more culturally flexible workplace that encourages a diverse workforce.

Advantages

Attracts a wider range of talent

More points of view for problem solving

Increased creativity and innovation

Flexibility range
Similar education
Wide Ranging Educational
Homogenous workforce
Diverse workforce

Education

Whether it’s what we studied, where we studied, or how long we studied for, we all have different backgrounds in terms of education. When you’re more flexible with employee education, you can welcome employees from different backgrounds and skill sets, and give them the opportunity to develop their existing skills and build new ones.

Advantages

Promotes individual growth

Larger and more diverse talent pool

Wider range of skills and talents

Flexibility range
Similar education
Wide Ranging Educational
Similar education
Wide-ranging backgrounds

More resources on flexibility

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