01 Apr 4 reasons why workplace culture is more than a buzzword — #2: Flexibility
by Joe Carr
The demand for great talent is higher than it’s ever been, and the sooner companies come to terms with that, the better. With the fight for employees raging across the US, the smartest firms are offering one huge culture element that trumps so many others: flexibility.
What is flexibility?
What do I mean by flexibility? I don’t mean that the employee gets to do whatever they want. Flexibility is more about the idea that as long as an employee’s work is of good quality and gets their assigned tasks done, there should be wiggle room from both parties on what their days/weeks at work look like. Office work is a prime example—flexibility to me doesn’t mean working completely remotely when there’s an office within two or three miles of your house. It means you could go to the office two or three days a week—of your choosing—in order to build closer relationships with your colleagues, but also still having that time at home to spend with your family.
I work remotely, but I also have to travel. But that works for me. Simplus is an enterprise consulting firm, so travel is something that’s a given. However, using myself as an example, I just got back from a month-long trip to the head office. But this week, I get to sit at home and see my kids when they get back into the house until I have to go away again. There’s no substitute for a better working environment than where you’re most comfortable—your home. It’s no exaggeration that as I type this I’m sitting on my sofa with my log burning stove on!
Expanding the scope of flexibility in the workplace
Flexibility can also apply to hours worked, holidays taken, career paths, and more. We are all individuals who are driven by emotion more than logic (no matter how much you might think otherwise), and to produce the best work we need to feel supported, trusted, and able to have our work be exciting—not just a means to pay the bills. So many more companies are now allowing employees to work in a way that fits around their lives, not the other way around.
In return, the biggest piece of advice available to those in a flexible workplace is this: produce! Produce, produce, produce. One of the easiest things to get sucked into when working remotely, or when you have a greater degree of flexibility, is to coast. A great leader will leave you well alone if you produce great work and be there for guidance when you need it, so don’t abuse that flexibility.
Flexibility in personal life affects work, too
Another thing to think about when it comes to flexibility is that this isn’t just limited to the company itself. Be flexible with your own time. I speak to so many people who feel completely tied to their job. And it eats into so much of their time they wind up unhappy both at work and at play. Sure, there will be times we all burn the midnight oil to get things done for our employer—but try not to make a habit of it. I regularly talk to our leadership about how much better at work I am if I’ve spent time doing things I enjoy and spending time with my family. Because as much as I love my job, I’m not going to look back in my old age and regret not working another hour at the expense of my children.
Here at Simplus, we are trying to nurture a company culture our CEO is proud of. As we get bigger, the challenge of mastering our company culture gets bigger too. But, if you leave your workers alone to do their job on their terms, you will be rewarded even in the face of great corporate growth.
Of course, the responsibility of flexibility isn’t for everyone, and one of the most important things required for flexibility to work is trust—which is the topic of the next blog.
Joe is the Simplus Recruiting Director, covering global QTC recruitment for Simplus. He is responsible for all international hiring outside of North America. He is a champion of #LifeMadeSimplus.