Monday, May 08, 2017

How to Create an Agile and Flexible Work Environment

flexible work environment Meeting the challenges of today’s workforce and competitive markets means strong leadership has to pay attention to detail and lead with a whole new kind of flexibility. When they do, creativity, productivity and profitability go up – and attrition, team disputes and burnout go down.



I’m often called upon by clients to help them determine what a shift in flexibility would mean to their work environment and team members—and help to create a process to make it happen.

I find these five strategies are a really good start


Tip your hat to technology. How far we’ve come!  Technology makes agility and flexibility easier now than in any time in history! People can now work from home, email from airplanes, telecommute and patch into meetings on the other side of the world with ease.  That’s powerful. Leverage that ability.


Remove the burden of guilt. Do you have a team member that would be served best working from home? Someone who needs to shift their hours to make childcare work? The goal is to get the work done, and done well – right? Not really about where it takes place or at what time of day. Remove the guilt, increase the flexibility – and watch the workflow accelerate.


Foster unity. Teams who are united, who get each other, who support each other will always accomplish more with less stress.  That sense of unity kicks in when someone is on vacation, sick, caring for an ill child or has a family emergency and eliminates the panic. The rest of the team picks up the slack, honors the responsibilities and keeps the work world spinning gladly, because they understand that if there comes a time when they need a helping hand, someone will do the same for them. That kind of unity starts at the top with leadership. Foster it, model it and support it throughout your whole team.


Reevaluate your environment. One of the first things I do when consulting with an organization that wants to increase flexibility and productivity is look at their work spaces.  Is it time to do away with cubicles? Can you consider a more open work space? Who needs a quiet space to work? Who works better with collaboration?  Is there an area to brainstorm? Is the temperature conducive to productivity? Is there enough light? When you reconsider all the components of your work environment and directly match them up to what your team needs to be at their best you’ll create a space for people to work at their highest and best capacity.


Create a distraction-free zone. Can you create an area of your work space or a time frame each day that is declared DISTRACTION-FREE? That means there are no meetings and no interruptions from peers or management during that time and everyone has the freedom to complete work, create, and stay on task.  For some organizations, implementing just this one idea changes the whole dynamic of their work days by decreasing stress and increasing productivity.  Try it.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’ve done to add more agility to your organization.  If you’d like more strategies on getting the most from your team by paying attention to what really matters – for you and your team, I’m happy to consult.


In the meantime, take a look at this video and learn more about creating workspaces ideal for your teams that will motivate productivity and focus, boost morale and drive employee engagement.


Powerful things happen when you shift your attention to difference-makers for people.  I can help you discover those and set your organization on a whole new path to accomplish ah-mazing things! Call me today to learn more!

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