According to research conducted by LinkedIn, workplace flexibility is a top trend for 2022. Hybrid and remote workplaces top the list, with 79% of C-suite executives planning to offer some type of hybrid or fully remote solution. But flexibility in the workplace also means giving employees more control over when they work. Unlimited PTO, compressed workweeks and flexible scheduling are key trends many employers embrace. To stay competitive and attract top talent, you need to find ways to offer as much flexibility as possible.
Fortunately, the news is good for employers too. According to a report by the Future of Work Institute, workplace flexibility benefits companies in many ways, including:
- Higher employee productivity
- Better meeting the needs of customers, regardless of their location
- Becoming more agile
- Minimizing expensive business travel
- Embracing the preferred working styles of multiple generations
- Increasing employee engagement and loyalty
Why workplace flexibility is so important
The global pandemic upended everything we thought we knew about work. During the shutdowns, many people worked remotely for the first time. Lots of them enjoyed it! According to a 2021 survey by PwC, 71% of workers and 83% of employers rated remote work as a success. More than half (55%) of employees want to stay remote at least three days per week. Meanwhile, the Great Resignation has people quitting at higher rates than ever before. While some are retiring or otherwise leaving the workforce for good, many are looking for better workplace culture, including a stronger work-life balance.
Work flexibility is a win-win for everyone. Older workers, those with childcare concerns and professionals with disabilities can often thrive in an environment that makes space for personal needs. And in a time when workers are demanding more, employers who offer flexibility are better able to attract and retain top talent. By adding flexibility now, you’ll also be in a better position to pivot if needed.
Four ways to embrace work flexibility in 2022
Flexibility in the workplace is good for both the employee and the business. But like any other initiative, it’s not as simple as deciding to offer flexibility and then letting it run itself. Success requires taking proactive steps to make it work for everyone:
- Get buy-in. A flexible work initiative is doomed if senior leaders don’t see the benefit. Sit down with your senior leadership team and make a pitch grounded in hard data. Then propose it to your staff. Answer their questions and take their feedback to make sure your plan will actually work for them.
- Build trust. “Presenteeism” (aka butts in seats) is baked into many office cultures. If management doesn’t see people working, they assume nothing’s getting done. Flexible work demands a whole new way of thinking in which success is measured by outcomes instead of processes. This requires mutual trust between employees and managers, which you can build only through thoughtful dialogues.
- Create support. Employees need managerial support, and managers need the support of their leadership team, no matter where everyone is physically located. Provide clear guidelines, offer multiple channels for two-way communication and develop ongoing training initiatives to keep everyone up to date.
- Implement digital solutions. Provide the technologies your flexible teams need to meet, collaborate and share ideas. Video-conferencing software, file-sharing tools, and messaging and chat options can help bring people together no matter where they are in the world or what time they’re working. A collaborative platform like Slack lets you organize and manage different teams and projects in a streamlined space that plays well with other tools.
Putting it all together
Workplace flexibility is a key trend for 2022 that’s likely (hopefully!) here to stay. With companywide buy-in, a culture of trust, ongoing support and collaborative digital solutions, you can create an agile, flexible team that is ready for whatever challenges come its way. Start embracing work flexibility with Slack.