“Workplace flexibility” is a relatively new buzzword for business solutions that help employers retain existing employees, expand the pool of potential employees, and increase workplace productivity.
Basically, workplace flexibility concerns strategies and tools that permit employees to:
- vary the times that they perform theirs tasks – ex. flexible work hours, job sharing, and compressed work weeks
- alter the place at which they perform job duties – ex. telecommuting, satellite offices, and travel between various locations throughout a territory
- change the manner in which they perform certain tasks – ex. use of technology and strategies to accommodate disabilities
Innovative use of workplace flexibility tools can help an employer attract or retain talented employees who cannot work a traditional Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm schedule for various reasons. Workplace flexibility strategies can also increase employee productivity through less distraction and higher job satisfaction. Additionally, employers can benefit financially from programs and tools that permit employees to work from a variety of locations, thus decreasing the need for large (and often expensive) office lease space, reducing time-consuming and stressful commutes to a centralized workplace, or increasing customer contacts in a global environment.
The US Department of Labor has created a website to help employers and employees obtain ideas and tools, as well as share and discuss the outcome of various strategies, for workplace flexibility at: http://www.dol.gov/odep/workplaceflexibility/#
By: Cynthia W. Veidt (firstname.lastname@example.org)