Navigating the 5 Factors of a Flexible Work Environment
FlexWork describes the five interdependent factors of a flexible work environment. Research shows that flexible work arrangements lead to greater impact, more successful outcomes, and better results.
We offer a full suite of 30+ customized workshops, available in curated solutions (see here) to match your situation and needs. All to help organizations explore, in a safe environment, the advantages and challenges of flexible work arrangements. The workshops are delivered primarily in virtual mode. Read about the advantages of "virtual" here. Prices start at $1,500 USD.
Three ways to use the workshops
Create and implement a new flexible work strategy.
Optimize an existing flexible work program.
Support current HR challenges and opportunities.
Lunch & Learn
Consider creating a Lunch & Learn curriculum (series of workshops) for your organization.
Curated solutions here.
Schedule a call here.
Book workshops here.
Why FlexWork ?
The world will never be the same
The Covid-19 pandemic shuttered borders, strained healthcare systems and decimated several industry sectors. In its wake, human ingenuity rose to the challenge in many ways including how we view and manage work. Organizations throughout the world are re-examining how work gets done. Recent studies assert that 83% of employers report that a shift to remote and hybrid work has been successful for their organizations, 80% of workers would turn down a job that did not offer a flexible work schedule, and the 9-to-5 workday and 5-day work week are beginning to disappear.
So, how should we re-imagine work? Our answer is FlexWork : a model to describe the five interdependent factors of the new flexible work environment. Importantly, these factors, in isolation, are not entirely new as many organizations already practice some of these approaches. What is new is the context behind the five factors, which is transforming the historical construct of work.
Work flexibility is no longer an individually negotiated work-life balance perk bestowed on an employee with young children, for example. Now everyone wants greater flexibility while still delivering results. Work flexibility is taking the main stage.
Organizations are determining that a holistic lens of work flexibility (all five factors) is the best way to create a culture that supports the needs of employees, increases their happiness, job satisfaction and engagement, which in turn, leads to higher productivity and better results. Each organization will be at a different position on the FlexWork™ Evolution Ladder.
A flexible work environment is not a fad. It is a seismic shift on the scale of the steam engine at the outset of the Industrial Revolution and Henry Ford’s assembly line technique of mass production. Organizations ignore the flexible work trend at their peril.
The Five Factors of FlexWork
Factor 1: Work Place
The physical place where the work is performed. This includes working from home (WFH), at a centralized main location (e.g., an office), at a third location, or a hybrid model which combines multiple locations.
Factor 2: Work Time
All aspects of the passage of time related to performing the work. This includes the length of the workday or work week and the number of work days in a year; dedicated blocks of hours or schedules for: meetings, collaboration, individual focus (“magic” hours), learning, and breaks (during the workday and vacation time).
Factor 3: Work Space
This is a mixture of tangible, intangible and governance perspectives:
The physical work environment either at the centralized main location (office), at home, or in the 3rd location. This incudes space design, activity-based areas, lighting, equipment, and the presence of other people (noise, interruptions, confidentiality).
Connectivity technology and digital tools to enable effective and efficient work, e.g., high-speed internet, VPN connection, a 16GB RAM computer, etc.
Governance as it pertains to confidentiality and cybersecurity, including technology and the organization’s policies and procedures, as well as the organization’s financial or legal obligations or exposure in a remote-work situation.
Factor 4: Work Engagement
All aspects of motivating and supporting employees to do their best possible work. Work engagement is an enabler of organizational success and includes both top-down and bottom-up approaches. Engagement strategies and tactics must be addressed at three levels: individual, team, and executive leadership. Our workshop modules also include a DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) series.
Factor 5: Work Results
These are the quantitative and qualitative key performance indicators (KPIs), which are either leading or lagging gauges of progress and success. An organization will measure results, outcomes, and impact, and monitor activity and outputs.
COVID-19 provided a 24-month global-scale experiment which tested the boundaries of our assumptions about work and productivity. No one could have predicted the broad and deep repercussions. The pre-COVID work model has been flipped on its head. Organizations have exchanged an “office-first” approach for “remote-first”. In the future, there must be a purpose-driven reason for employees to commute to a centralized main location, like an office, to work. The “office” becomes a tool to increase productivity. It is no longer the default location where work gets done.