By using The Balance Careers, you accept our. Employee Life and Family Challenges With Flexible Work Schedules? Flexibility at Work Definition: Flexibility at the workplace allows one to evaluate what is happening and adjust to the role and responsibilities or even the job being offered. 2. A unique positioning 2. Telecommuting: Not every employee needs (or wants) to work in an office; telecommuting lets them work from elsewhere, such as a home office or coworking space. A defensible positioning, i.e., difficult for competitors to replicate 3. There are many definitions for flexibility. 2. In physiological terms, flexibility is defined as the ability of a joint or a group of joints and muscles to effectively move through an unrestricted and pain-free range of motion. 56. Volunteer to cover a colleague's work while he is on leave. You can overdo this conditioning. the quality of being able to change or be changed easily according to the situation: The new law gives auto makers more flexibility in meeting lower pollution targets. Here are some examples of the ways workers can demonstrate flexibility. A flexible business model helps niche businesses in today's business climate. A business should not feel like they have to offer flexible work conditions if they genuinely don’t suit the role or the business structure. Check for Pre-qualified Credit Card Offers, Credit Intel – Financial Education Center. "Over the last year, we've actually been able to increase prices on our site," says Daniels of Thumbtack. "Small businesses are always looking for more clients, and we can bring that to them very affordably. A flexible schedule is also dependent on employee availability to cover all aspects of the job and all hours of the day during which a business makes products or serves customers. Business agility refers to rapid, continuous, and systematic evolutionary adaptation and entrepreneurial innovation directed at gaining and maintaining competitive advantage. Functional Flexibility is a concept in companies where employees can work in different functions or can be deployed purposely to various functions with different roles and responsibilities. Don’t accept everything as it first seems. Flexibility has become an increasingly valuable skill in modern workplaces where unpredictability and change is often constant. The organization has to identify major changes in the environment, quickly change commitment of resources to new courses of action to counter the change, and to identify markers in order to restore to previous commitments when the external environment is back to the initial state. On the flip side, however, U.S.-based small businesses could see work decrease if their niche is a service that's easily provided by offshore workers. It keeps us from becoming complacent. Learn more. "Every successful business faces increased competition over time. Take Keap's Lifecycle Marketing quiz to identify growth opportunities in your business. 55. Managers who are flexible provide workers with greater latitude about the way they accomplish goals. "We have a team of 150 hardworking, talented people who have allowed our business to thrive.". b. But if your business really wants to differentiate itself, consider elevating flexibility to the level of a company core value. But they will outsource to a marketing agency. The importance of flexibility in business simply can't be overstated. Quick Reference. See more. Customer loyalty – e.g. As a basic definition, flexibility in the workplace is about when, where and how work is carried out. Tools like R-HUB web video conferencing servers, WebEx, GoMeetNow, gotomeeting etc. vague meaning. 3. I was talking to a local shop owner the other day who was bemoaning the typical seasonal business slowdown. The best example of strategic flexibility is the firm that is able to transform itself radically and permanently. Business flexibility refers to a company's ability to adapt to new circumstances. Some entrepreneurs see competition as proof of demand. In our business, preparation is essential, but flexibility is often needed as well. Savvy niche businesses survive in today's business climate, where outsourcing and freelancing are part of the picture. Workplace flexibility meets the needs of both the business and its workers. ble (flĕk′sə-bəl) adj. flexible meaning: 1. able to change or be changed easily according to the situation: 2. able to bend or to be bent…. The Advantages of Flexibility in an Organization. A service-based business utilizing a cost-plus pricing model may pivot to subscription-based pricing, hourly pricing or tiered, volume-based pricing. That's why the importance of flexibility in business can't be overstated. 54. Despite increasing momentum toward businesses offering more work flexibility, it’s still relegated to the status of a “nice to have” benefit at many companies. You’ll Land More Clients. We have also had to lower our prices to get clients.". Tweet. Loyalty, engagement, and retention is improved, which helps a company's productivity and its bottom line. Regardless of what type of job you are applying for, it will benefit your candidacy if you can show the interviewer examples of how you are flexible and willing to change course. Volume flexibility involves the output of a process and being able to produce different quantities/volumes. In other words, the flexibility principle is a concept that suggests any information system used by a business should be able to change and grow with the company. In other words, it is a group of multi-skilled workers.The term ‘flexible workforce’ may also refer to a workforce that grows and shrinks in size.Specifically, it grows and shrinks in size according to the employer’s needs. Labor market flexibility refers to firms' ability under a jurisdiction's laws and regulations to make decisions regarding employees's hiring, firing, hours and working conditions. Some small-business owners have succeeded because of the outsourcing trend. 4 Reasons Speed Is Everything in Business It's difficult to overstate the importance of speed in business. It can also help mitigate the war for talent.. As an HR professional, you are in the perfect position at the perfect time to make a difference in both your company and in the country. It is very important for the employer and employee to be flexible as it creates a streamlined workforce and technology adopted, due to changes in the market. When professionals find themselves out of work, many look to freelancing. "Of course we're facing increased competition," says Matt Michel, CEO of Service Nation. How Employees Can Readjust to Office Life, Here Are Some Tips on How to Answer Questions About Shift Work, How to Implement a Long-Term Remote Work Plan, How to Negotiate to Remote Work From Home During COVID-19, How to Optimize Productivity While Working From Home, How to Take a Step Back and Still Move Your Career Forward, How to Maintain Company Culture While Remote Working, How Employers Can Effectively Manage Election Day Time Off, How Employers Accommodate and Welcome Disabled Employees, How to Communicate About Mental Health to Your Employees, Important Personal Skills That Employers Value, Reasons Why Teleworking Should Be an Option for Employees, Flexible Schedule and Telecommuting Is Changing the Work Environment, How to Use the Principles of Adaptive Leadership in the Workplace, Learning complex new software that will increase efficiency, Listening carefully to constructive criticism as part of a performance review, Offering to cover the responsibilities of a colleague while they are ill or on vacation, Offering to work extra hours during a year-end crunch, Pushing aside the work planned for the day to respond to an emerging problem, Working overtime to help a colleague meet a deadline, Analyzing the style and preferences of individual subordinates, Praising the work of a productive employee more frequently because she craves feedback, Providing release time for parents to attend school programs, Rewarding subordinates who make impactful suggestions. This usually begins with the ordering of raw materials for the production of various products. In a flexible workplace, the needs of both employee and employer are met. A nurse who works the afternoon shift will have trouble exercising flexibility, for example, if they can't find another employee to cover their shift. With it, there’s far more potential and peace of mind. However, flexibility is difficult to achieve and may lead to new issues and concerns. their inputs and costs required to achieved organisational objectives and goals. Allow me to explain how flexibility has taken on a pivotal role in decision making. It helps workers achieve greater work-life balance, leading to increased employee satisfaction and improved morale. Flexibility For Success Alessandra described five components someone should have to attain a high level of flexibility: respect for people, confidence, … Workplace flexibility A company is said to have workplace flexibility when they acknowledge employees’ needs to deal with unforeseen circumstances in regards to scheduling. Others have increased profits by outsourcing some tasks to offshore talent. Individual complications are dependent on the niche market they serve. 4. Flexibility and Rigidity in Russian Business Contracting: The Formal and Informal Framework in Contracting by Soili Nystén-Haarala, Elena Bogdanova, Alexander Kondakov, and Olga Makarova, the authors remind us that regulations will always be enforced by Employers that permit telecommuting, or working from home, can reduce overhead with less need for office space; working from home can also have a beneficial environmental impact by eliminating lengthy commutes. For the purposes of this article, we propose using a simple framework for thinking about competitive strategy. Golf is flexibility, and I notice more guys injured. A clear customer need in a defined, significant target market It is trite to say that the essence of competitive advantage is a differentiated offer relative to competitors. Retief Goosen. Flexibility For Success Alessandra described five components someone should have to attain a high level of flexibility: respect for people, confidence, … The added competition, which often comes at a lower cost, can pose a challenge for established boutique firms. Clarissa is the customer experience manager for a chain of retail department stores. Such is the case of Spyglass, the firm which commercialized the first Internet browser, Mosaic. This helps employees maintain a work / life balance and can help employers improve the productivity and efficiency of their business. Workplace flexibility is a strategy of responding to changing circumstances and expectations. Despite its name, Employmum is a unisex service. These factors can enable small businesses to respond readily and rapidly to shifting demands. Share. Please review. Review your business to see what aspects are repetitive or monotonous and make it your ultimate goal to automate them as much possible so that your attention remains focused on growth-related activities. Pin. "Companies are not hiring PR agencies anymore. Thus, they have more to offer their employer than employees who can only do one or two tasks. Flexibility A firm’s ability to respond to changes in its environment both rapidly and at low cost In a business context, flexibility can refer to a number of different ideas. A version of this article was originally published on March 29, 2012. Small businesses, on the other hand, can benefit from having tighter, rapid feedback loops and more direct involvement from decision makers, as well as looser processes and systems. Paul Kagame. With rapid changes in technology, diversity and society, companies need employees who are open to new ideas, flexible enough to work through challenging issues, and generally able to cope when things don’t go as planned. See more. An example of such flexibility is allowing employees to give input when creating schedules and allotting shifts. Some of the common feedback she receives from her store managers involves her inability to authorize returns or match sale prices without the permission from upper management. From printing to marketing consulting, a multitude of small businesses are meeting the needs of larger businesses and corporations. They may telecommute during special conditions, such as inclement weather, or on a daily basis. Outsourcing can also mean more affordable labor for some businesses. Essential components of a successful strategy include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. Learn more about workplace flexibility, its benefits, and the skills workers and employers use to stay flexible. Freelance workers typically are hired for project-specific assignments. Don’t just do what others tell you. 57. Financial flexibility gives a business the ability to adapt, pivot, and evolve with relative ease. Freelance talent can be a major competitor for established small businesses. Managers will often need to adjust schedules and delegate routine tasks as they focus on reaching the company's priorities. When evaluating business flexibility, the idea is to look closely at all the activities involved in the business operation. With regard to joints specifically, flexibility is the degree of extension that its tissues are capable of. Workplace flexibility includes the ability to adapt to changing situations, resilience, innovativeness, and the willingness to learn and apply new skills. If times are tough, some small-business owners consider pivoting to meet the changing needs of consumers in their niche. Flexible managers treat employees as individuals and make an effort to accommodate personal styles and needs. In contrast with a risk problem, a flexibility crisis is one of the large number of improbable but possible events that threaten the basic earning power of the business. Strategic flexibility can be used by organizations as both an offense and defense mechanism, depending on the nature of change and its impact on the organization. But those in specific target markets are more likely to thrive during periods of global economic strife. Delivery flexibility is being able to change the timings of delivery in a product/service. Workplace flexibility is often used as a tool for retaining and engaging employees. 1 Shares. Small businesses that help other business owners to thrive may see an uptick in revenues as those other owners seek any opportunity to increase revenues. "We have completely changed the way we market ourselves, from strictly being a PR firm to more of a marketing agency," says Becky Boyd, VP of MediaFirst. Flexibility is a necessary entrepreneurial trait. are used … With the capability to adapt and mold offerings and experiences to deliver better products, higher-quality services or greater overall value, small businesses can earn market share even in the most saturated niches. 3. For example, when a new player enters the market with a new product, it is a major change in the external environment of an existing organization. Flexibility is a personality trait that describes the extent to which a person can cope with changes in circumstances and think about problems and tasks in novel, creative ways. Here are a few examples of how you might demonstrate it: Offer to help out another team member if you notice that he or she is overloaded. Some areas of business may resist and indicate that it isn’t suitable for them or their business. New data . Pricing is another area with two sides to its story. As a result, we conduct extensive planning efforts on the front end of a project to clearly define the scope of work before it starts. Product-based businesses aren't without options to innovate on pricing, however. Or, training temporary employees to take on full-time roles. A flexible business model can help a business shift its core focus to accommodate market demands. Freelancing. Closely linked to cost, efficiency and flexibility targets look at how effectively the assets of the business are being utilised, and how responsive the business can be to short-term or unexpected changes in demand. Price points are in constant flux, as some niche markets are in high demand and can realistically raise prices. That in turn means employee turnover is reduced, as is the cost to recruit and train new hires. Workers with an orientation towards flexibility don't say, "It’s not my job" or "Do I have to?" In other words, it is a group of multi-skilled workers.The term ‘flexible workforce’ may also refer to a workforce that grows and shrinks in size.Specifically, it grows and shrinks in size according to the employer’s needs. Chief Ideation Officer, CODA Concepts, LLC. Being flexible is not something that business owners should fear; rather it is something that can actually help you take your business to the next level. At the end of the day, customers want to feel as though they're receiving value. Adaptability & Flexibility Adaptability is a critical quality that employers seek in early 21st-century employees. This leads to customer frustration and spoils the customer experience which leading to loss of customers and profit. Competition keeps us awake at night. During periods of economic turmoil, some businesses may drastically drop prices just to make it, while others may make a killing. Don’t set a course and blindly stick to it. flexible workforce: A flexible workforce is one that grows in number to meet needs at any given time and falls back to a baseline number when the increased size is no longer necessary. While flexibility is very necessary when your business is taking unexpected twists and turns; I think that flexibility, in general, is a wise trait for entrepreneurs to cultivate, even in times where things are feeling certain and going well. When your vision changes, change direction with it. Product flexibility can be defined as the amount of responsiveness (or adaptability) for any future change in a product design, including new products and derivatives of existing products. In the sense of managing human resources, flexibility can be defined as the organisation adapting to size, composition, responsiveness and the people. Show Summary Details. Harvard Business Review, Nov./Dec. "We've seen a significant increase in our business because of our global hiring in the Philippines," says Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack. Expanding access to workplace flexibility is a priority that is critical to helping working families and driving employee engagement. It can also help an organization reach its goals thanks to improved productivity. It keeps us from becoming complacent. Employees who approach their job with a flexible mindset are typically more highly valued by employers.​ Similarly, employers who cultivate a flexible work environment are attractive to employees. Flexible employees, for their part, are willing to do whatever is necessary to get the task accomplished, whether that means taking on more responsibilities, doing different tasks, or doing more at work. Capable of being bent or flexed; pliable: a flexible hose. Functional Flexibility is a concept in companies where employees can work in different functions or can be deployed purposely to various functions with different roles and responsibilities. Again, corporate flexibility and adapting to market demands can be the key to success. There are a variety of ways that workplace flexibility can be implemented by workers and employers. For some organizations, it could mean hiring multiple temporary employees for a spike in business. Definition: The flexibility principle states that an accounting information system should be able to adapt to changes in the company based on its needs, operations, and management. Focus on a scalable business model Readily bending or twisting the body without injury: You can play soccer much better if you're flexible. Flexibility aspects of the capital structure decision are very similar to risk problems and are analyzed in the same way. Being flexible gives the potential for a business to hold a competitive edge due to their wider variety, different volumes and varying delivery dates. They assess the needs of employees and provide feedback, guidance, and recognition individually to optimize performance. Whether that means changing your business model, lowering prices, outsourcing or leveraging innovative, value-added pricing strategies, today's small businesses may want to consider embracing corporate flexibility to survive. Some examples of workplace flexibility on the part of a manager include: Workplace flexibility can also refer specifically to regular work arrangements that promote work-life balance, as opposed to one-off accommodations for special circumstances. Share 1. Is the variation in the numbers of hours worked and the timing of the work. The discussion applies concepts taken from two theoretical frameworks: the Generic Process Model (GPM) and the theory of coordination. All rights reserved, Insights and Inspiration to Help Grow Your Business. Some small businesses may find success with performance-based pricing, in which customers pay for results rather than time or services. Freedom and happiness are found in the flexibility and ease with which we move through change. Let no one think that flexibility and a predisposition to compromise is a sign of weakness or a sell-out. Small businesses bringing a quality product or service to the table may not be stifled by freelance competition, but encouraged by it. Simply put, a flexible workforce describes a staff that is optimized for when it is needed. For instance, small businesses serving core business components could suffer as corporations seek full-time staffers to meet those needs. Two forms of flexibility are discussed: Short-term flexibility, which is the Are you a “yes, but” business owner? Workplace flexibility can enhance work-life balance for employees, leading to greater satisfaction and retention. That said, they … Learn more. By: Pam Lassiter. Typical forms are flexitime, overtime, shiftworking, zero-hours contracts, compressed working week, seasonal-hours contracts, and annual-hours contracts. Gautama Buddha. Service-based businesses tend to have a bit more flexibility in terms of pricing models compared to product-based businesses. Able to change to cope with variable circumstances: "a flexible and quietly competent administrator" (Jerome Karabel). For example, one employee may require more structure in their job duties and another may function better working independently. Deploying new solutions. When you are flexible, you are able to deal with unexpected challenges quickly, calmly and efficiently. Competition and the Freelance Factor © 2020 American Express Company. flexibility definition: 1. the ability to change or be changed easily according to the situation: 2. the ability to bend…. Competition keeps us awake at night. It is very important for the employer and employee to be flexible as it creates a streamlined workforce and technology adopted, due to changes in the market. The importance of flexibility in business simply can't be overstated. This speaks to Thumbtack's business model: Serving new leads to small businesses, especially those desperate to secure new business. Flextime: Employers with a flextime policy allow their workers to stagger arrival and departure times as necessary. Flexibility is a necessary entrepreneurial trait. Workplace flexibility meets the needs of both the business and its workers. Decisions keep the business moving forward, and forward is always a good thing. In a guest blog post for PR In Your Pajamas, co-author of Small Business, BIG Vision Matthew Toren wrote: "I define flexibility in business as the ability for a company to make whatever internal changes are necessary to respond effectively to … Flexibility definition, the ability to bend easily or without breaking:The shoe soles are made from elastic materials to provide perfect flexibility. Others must lower their price points to attract new clients, while some leverage innovative pricing models that increase value for customers without sacrificing revenue. Flexibility at Work Definition: Flexibility at the workplace allows one to evaluate what is happening and adjust to the role and responsibilities or even the job being offered. Flexibility is the capacity to adjust to short-term change quickly and calmly, so that you can deal with unexpected problems or tasks effectively. Remote working and flexibility helps businesses in savings on travel costs, increasing efficiencies in business processes, increasing productivity etc. For boutique firms, the trend toward outsourcing is a plus, as corporations gladly enlist smaller firms to help with non-critical business components. A flexible design will reduce redesign costs and allow quicker response to customers with increased performance. Flexibility on the part of a worker could be to adjust the hours they work—coming in early, staying late, or working on an off day—to accommodate the needs of the company. Process flexibility not only improves your processes in terms of their output, but trusting the process user in key moments makes following the process easier for them too. (Definition of flexibility … What we are seeing is that people want the ability to work remotely, work split hours, work around the traffic, do school drop offs or pickups or leave early on a Friday for a … A flexible work environment has many benefits. But flexibility isn't just about reacting to situations as and when they arise. The paper aims at discussing the meaning of flexibility in business processes. This can be accomplished by making the employees multi-skilled so that they can perform various types of tasks whenever required. When businesses embrace corporate flexibility, it can be possible to weather these challenges. Customers—both B2B and B2C—prefer working with companies that are responsive to their needs, so a flexible business model can also foster customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Part of flexibility in business means being able to apply your existing skill … All users of our online services subject to Privacy Statement and agree to be bound by Terms of Service. Business and Management; GO. when they are asked to take on a new assignment. Financial flexibility means different things to different business leaders, but it’s something every company should strive for. FLEXIBILITY is essential in changing business environments. Flexibility definition, the ability to bend easily or without breaking:The shoe soles are made from elastic materials to provide perfect flexibility. Strategic flexibility enables firms to achieve superior performance in dynamic and competitive business environment (Zhang, 2006; Nadkarni and Herrmann, 2010). Process flexibility is a significantly underappreciated concept within business process management but one which Process Street, at least, is taking seriously. Having employees who are willing to step outside their job description means employers don't need to find others to take on more work. Workplace flexibility emphasizes the willingness and ability to adapt to change, particularly regarding how and when work gets done. Overview temporal flexibility. Always keep developing your vision and your goals. 5 Tips to Achieve Optimal Financial Flexibility. These work arrangements typically include flexible schedules outside of the traditional 9-to-5. Instead, flexible employees modify their approach to tasks based on the preferences of stakeholders and the unique demands of each situation. While flexibility is very necessary when your business is taking unexpected twists and turns; I think that flexibility, in general, is a wise trait for entrepreneurs to cultivate, even in times where things are feeling certain and going well. It spurs us on to outpace them. 5. Flexibility and Rigidity in Russian Business Contracting: The Formal and Informal Framework in Contracting by Soili Nystén-Haarala, Elena Bogdanova, Alexander Kondakov, and Olga Makarova, the authors remind us that regulations will always be enforced by "We needed to do this because of the economy," Boyd explains. Lack of flexibility in the workplace kills productivity, says report 9th October 2015 5:38 pm 18th January 2017 5:15 pm New research shows that highly engaged staff are more likely to be late for work, do personal tasks during working hours such as online shopping and checking social media accounts, and work from home. Flexibility in the workplace allows employers and employees to make arrangements about working conditions that suit them. This flexibility can mean multiple things depending on the nature of your business. Condensed schedules: Rather than a five-day workweek, a condensed schedule fits the same amount of work over a shorter amount of time, such as three or four days, giving the employee an additional day or two off during the week. Whether that means changing your business model, lowering prices, outsourcing or leveraging innovative, value-added pricing strategies, today's small businesses may want to consider embracing corporate flexibility to survive. Equipping staff with the smartphones, tablets and laptops they need to … Alison Doyle is the job search expert for The Balance Careers, and one of the industry's most highly-regarded job search and career experts. Work flexibility (also called workplace flexibility) is when the employer gives some or full freedom to its employees to choose the time (when), location (where), and manner (how) in which they work to help align organisation goals with the individual goals.