Back to Work: What Does Workplace Flexibility Really Mean?

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Flexible work environments remain a hot topic in the corporate world. Employees nowadays are not only exploring flexible work environments in droves but are outspoken about the benefits of flexible work models. This sentiment is reflected in a Yoh survey which revealed that remote employees are twice as likely to prefer to work remote rather than hybrid and ten times as likely to prefer to work remote as opposed to fully in-person.

In this episode of our Back to Work podcast series, host Joe McIntyre talks with guest Caroline Castrillon, Founder of Corporate Escape Artist - a career counseling firm committed to helping people achieve career fulfillment. Caroline shares her insights on the changing complexion of flexible work models, along with strategies to negotiate remote access as companies push for employees to return to the office.


Listen to the podcast episode below:


Benefits of Flexibility in the Workplace

Employees have been vocal about the flexibility remote working models have afforded them. Reduced burnout, improved health and wellness, along with reduced commute time and related expenses are benefits that many employees have shared. Although, flexible work is not solely limited to remote models alone. Alternate options include hybrid, shared employment opportunities, and a shortened work week. Consider exploring these alternate options to find what is best for your situation.

Employers alike have been observed the benefits of flexible working models. Boosted productivity, reduced tardiness and absenteeism, lowered office space costs, and improved recruitment and retention have been the major highlights for employers. As society restores a sense of normalcy employers are left to contemplate whether they will continue allowing flexible working models going forward.


Challenges of Flexibility in the Workplace

The benefits of flexible workplaces have been heavily advertised. What about the challenges? Difficulty building rapport, isolation, and struggling to transition mentally after workhours have been documented as recurring issues for people in flexible workspaces. There are steps to mitigate these challenges but remaining aware of these hurdles can help guide your decision as to where and how you want to work.


How to Negotiate for a Flexible Working Environment

When your company mandates that employees return to the office, you have three options; comply, leave, or negotiate. When negotiating, ask around and see if anyone has successfully been able to negotiate. Prepare a concise proposal and practice your delivery to ensure you convey a convincing argument. Speak about how it is mutually beneficial and cite examples of how your productivity faired in the pandemic. Keep your options open and be willing to pivot.


Final Thoughts

Flexibility, fulfillment, and freedom. These three things are top mind for employees when seeking employment. Employees are purposefully seeking out employers that trust them and allow them to thrive in their desired space. The ongoing transition to flexible work models has allowed employees to reevaluate where and how they prefer to work. Check out the full podcast episode to obtain value insights from Caroline Castrillon regarding flexible work models.

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