The Importance of Workflow Flexibility

Many people who advocate for working from home assert it shouldn’t matter where they are when getting stuff done. As long as they finish things within the specified timeframe, what does it matter if they do so from a coffee shop, home office or company headquarters?

When businesses give employees the option to enjoy a more agile workflow, executives typically put months or years of thought into the idea.

Recently, though, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies arranged for all employees to work remotely within days. A flexible workflow is crucial for helping these organizations function despite orders that people stay at home. It’s also ideal during other times.

1. Flexibility Provides More Value to the Economy

Financial analysts often bring up the economy when discussing a nation’s current state and what the future may bring. One study found that flexible work environments had different benefits that depend on a person’s employment status.

The study examined U.S. workers and found that those employed full-time would use their time more productively if given flexible work hours. Plus, part-time workers will want to work more hours, and the unemployed would have a stronger desire to work under the same conditions. The research also estimated an approximate $2.36 trillion per year in gross value added (GVA).

The study pointed out how, if 95% of knowledge workers opt to be on the clock at home for an average of 2.4 days per working week, the change will bring an extra $4.44 billion in cost savings associated with commuting costs.

The findings of this report indicate that workflow flexibility could help the country’s economy and its workers alike. Thus, you should try to be open to the possibilities.

2. Flexibility Allows Responsive Agreements for Contractors

Research shows that government bodies are increasing how much they spend on contractors. The figures for the 2018 fiscal year reflected a 9% boost over the previous year, topping out at $559 billion. Those statistics also showed an increase for the third straight year, strongly suggesting that the change is not a mere fad.

As government agencies bring more contractors on board, many representatives realize there must be some degree of flexibility in contractual arrangements. For example, some entities under government contracts have pivoted their production to meet the government’s needs during the COVID-19 crisis. These parties often qualify as non-traditional contractors.

In any case, parties must document the negotiation and all disclosures made to the government. Getting the events in writing helps confirm what happened, plus aids contractors in preparing for audits. Allowing an agile workflow is not something people often associate with the government. Permitting contractual flexibility is often necessary to respond adequately to changing needs, and it can happen as long as thorough documentation occurs.

3. Flexibility Could Make It Easier to Attract Talent

People prioritize numerous things when looking for a new job. Most pay attention to factors like the pay rate, health insurance, retirement packages and whether the employer offers paid vacation. One study revealed some fascinating statistics about how much workers want flexibility.

The research showed that 83% of people would choose a job that offered flexwork compared to one that didn’t. Additionally, 54% responded that having a choice of work location was more important than a job offer from a prestigious company. The survey showed that 71% of companies offering that perk saw an increase in the available talent pool. Thus, an agile workflow could pay off in hiring efforts.

4. Flexibility Brings Simultaneous Advantages

Sometimes, there’s no need to offer workflow flexibility across a long period to see results. Microsoft Japan learned that when they launched the Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019. In August, the brand gave its entire workforce five consecutive Fridays off without requiring pay cuts. This change implemented a four-day workweek that brought numerous benefits.

The company said its sales went up by nearly 40%, and that 92% of the workers liked the new approach. Plus, electricity consumption went down by 23%, and paper usage fell by 59% compared to the previous August. The tech brand also applied agility to its meetings, encouraging people to limit the total time to 30 minutes and to meet online when possible.

Will You Allow for More Workflow Flexibility?

The examples here show you have plenty of reasons to consider workplace flexibility. Doing so could bring some positive changes, including ones you might not expect.


Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews is a biz technology journalist and cybersecurity writer. Her work has also been featured on Security Business Insider, Contently, Outbrain and others. To read more from Kayla, please visit her personal tech blog: Productivity Bytes.

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