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The True Cost of Flexibility in the Workplace | 2024 Reveals

The True Cost of Flexibility in the Workplace | 2024 Reveals


Astrid Tran 28 Feb 2024 6 min read

The workplace is transforming. Highly efficient work environments in the modern day promote free-flowing, dynamic, and support the well-being of every person. This new model promotes flexibility in the workplace, involving discretion and autonomy.

This is a positive sign for a healthy workplace. However, is it all about advantages? Not everyone can adapt to this new work style effectively, which is a reason for many negative outcomes for organizations. Thus, the article will highlight the challenges that employees might face in the flexible work environment and solutions for that.

flexibility in the workplace examples
Flexibility in the workplace examples – Image: Forbes India

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What Is Flexibility in The Workplace?

In the workplace, flexibility is the ability to identify and meet the needs of each employee. It’s about letting go of the old, regimented style of working and putting your trust in your staff to complete high-quality work wherever they are and whenever they go online.

An example of flexibility in the workplace is flexible hours. Employees can come to work early or leave later than normal working hours as long as tasks are completed. Another good example that clearly demonstrates the benefits of flexibility in the workplace is remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employees can choose to work from home and still achieve work efficiency despite companies being closed. As of now, with the advancement of team management tools, many firms allow their employees to work from any location in the world.

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Image: Hospitality Net

Disadvantages of Flexibility in the Workplace

Many of us just focus on the advantages of flexibility in the workplace, but that is not all story. The truth is flexibility produces positive outcomes for the employees and broader company performance. Other benefits include improved employee retention and satisfaction, enhanced creativity, and boosted mental health

Not only do they have advantages, but there are also many disadvantages and challenges the team might encounter, which are demonstrated below.

Decreased cohesion and coordination

Reduced engagement and communication within teams, as well as between teams and management, is another frequent drawback of working remotely. The effectiveness of the workforce as a whole as well as individual employees may suffer from this lack of engagement. When a company lacks the unity, understanding, and communication that characterize successful teams, success may come more slowly.

Decreased sense of belongingness

Team members may feel as though they no longer have a sense of identity within the organization because of a communication breakdown. There will frequently be picnics and weekend get-togethers in the company. It’s not just a group incentive; it’s also meant to support staff members in developing greater intimacy and love, greater company. Employee motivation and performance may suffer as a result of this disconnect, which can also worsen feelings of loneliness and depression.

Less knowledge gained from peers

Avoid working remotely or not securing enough time to spend with your supervisor and coworkers if you want to pick their brains about a lot of knowledge sharing. One of the benefits that is almost exclusively available in the workplace is the ability to choose your own work. Additionally, the business frequently hosts training sessions to assist staff in acquiring new skills. It is very difficult for them to participate, and they might even feel lost, if they are only permitted to work from home or somewhere else.

Loss of concentration and ineffectiveness

Similar to communication or coordination, less concentration and effectiveness between at-home and in-office workers may be less effective when it comes to remote work without strict supervision. In the office working environment, plenty of things can force you to work more focused and more effectively such as the look of colleagues, monitoring from the boss,… lacking this factor, you can become lazier, or quickly do other things like taking care of children, for example.

Resist returning to the office

Remote working has become more popular as a result of the pandemic, offering workers a level of flexibility that was previously unthinkable. There are a variety of factors contributing to job seekers’ reluctance to go back to work. The need to achieve a better work-life balance, the stress related to commuting, and the efficiency of remote work each contributed to this paradigm shift.

Most job seekers indicated in a recent survey that they preferred remote or hybrid work models. This change is more representative of a larger cultural change in the way we perceive work, assess results and value contributions than it is of physical presence.

demonstrates flexibility in the workplace
Demonstrates flexibility in the workplace – Image: Linkedin

How to be Productive in Workplace Flexibility

You need to work much harder than a typical employee if you want to work remotely, make your own decisions about your work, schedule your own time and related tasks, etc. Meeting requirements and exhibiting flexibility with the company are not easy tasks, even when it comes to company policy.

How to be flexible in the workplace while maintaining high perfomance and team connection? There are some significances you should know to be successful and flexible at work:

  • Accept opportunities to demonstrate your creative abilities when they arise for tasks that are unfamiliar to you.
  • To help you perform better, find out about any changes to the policies and procedures at work and discuss them with your managers.
  • Make it your goal to participate more in team meetings if it is difficult for you to share ideas with colleagues. Here’s an illustration of how goals can help you hone your adaptability abilities.
  • Steer clear of micromanaging, which is the main obstacle to effective and successful remote work.
  • Arrange all of your tasks in case your employment changes. You have a higher chance of being ready for these changes should they occur.
  • To progress in your position, acquire new abilities, and establish personal objectives. Offer to take on new tasks that require these skills once you’ve managed to upskill yourself.
  • Recognize changes occurring at work and keep an eye out for any that may have an impact on you. As soon as you learn of a new shift, begin considering how you can modify your role to accommodate it.
  • Stay connected with employees in flexible work arrangements such as work-from-home or hybrid-word.
  • Review your workflows regularly to ensure they’re as efficient as possible.
  • Maintaining your optimism is a flexible attitude. Staying upbeat when you have a big, pressing project coming up can be challenging. However, maintaining your resilience and attention will be aided by seeing the bright side and concentrating on the positives. 

💡 Always leverage virtual tools, like AhaSlides to support remote working, and organize engaging meetings as well as other corporate events with associates from all over the world.

Key Takeaways

Flexibility has become an increasingly valuable skill in modern workplaces where unpredictability and change are often constant. Adjusting yourself and learning every day, being calm and optimistic with clear goals,…. will help you go further in self-management to respond to flexibility in the working environment.


  1. How to improve flexibility in the workplace?

To improve flexibility at work, employees need to learn how to adapt to it. Enhancing responsibility, learning new skills by leveraging collaboration tools, and enhancing the ability to control their schedule is the important demonstration of flexibility in the workplace. 

  1. What is an example of flexibility in the workplace?

Setting your schedule at work is a typical example of flexibility in the workplace. Employees can set their hours, shifts, and break times, or could opt for a compressed workweek (i.e., working full-time in four days instead of five).