Flexibility is one of the most essential things for the modern workplace. At least it is my view that there has to be an ability to adapt, redefine, redevelop and recreate to ensure organisations are ready to deal with the changing environment. Now it is more critical than at any point since the industrial revolution.
It was something that raised its head throughout my day. There were significant challenges I faced as well as seeing the same dilemma being thrown to other people. Whatever happens this is the status quo to expect in the next few years so we need to understand the situation and know how we are going to be able to deal with it.
There are some structural things we need to deal with including removing the fixed view that we do what is in our job description. That isn’t true and I don’t think ever has been. The job profile is just an outline of what the role requires, and it isn’t a checklist for our day-to-day activity. We need to let go of that idea and instead recognise the job description for what it really is.
We need to ensure that the processes and policies we have include an element of flexibility around them. It is absolutely right to have standards in place and agreed ways of working but within everything there needs to be the opportunity to step outside for good reasons and try something different. Policies cannot be what holds us back from being adaptable to changes and it has to include flexibility or be regularly reviewed and updated.
There has to be a culture that will support people allowing them to look at situations and create a plan based on knowledge, skills, and experience. It means being prepared to take some risks and accept things won’t always go well. But if people come from a good perspective and things have gone a little awry then they have to be supported.
Above all to ensure the flexibility we need within the workplace we have to look to ourselves. We need to become comfortable with the fact things can change quickly, and that our work is continually evolving. This is a huge opportunity if only we can take the blinkers off to see it.