Flexibility And Hybrid Work - Deepstash
Flexibility And Hybrid Work

Flexibility And Hybrid Work

“Flexibility” is now rivaled in prominence only by the novel work model it is so often used to describe: hybrid work. They have taken over the way we speak about the future of work and represent new ways of thinking about the further integration of work and life.

Many different interpretations of flexibility are beginning to arise. But none of these definitions is exactly what employees mean when they say they want flexibility. What it seems they really want is autonomy. Within the context of hybrid work, this means having the ability to be the primary decision-maker of where and when they do their work.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Forget Flexibility. Your Employees Want Autonomy.

  • Establish principles, not policies. Hybrid strategies containing policy-driven mandates on where and when to work are likely to be rejected by employees based on their inherent restriction to autonomy. 
  • Invest in competence and relatedness. Competence refers to an individual’s ability to complete their tasks through mastery of relevant skills. Relatedness refers to our sense of belonging and social cohesiveness with others.
  • Give employees the tools they need to work autonomously from anywhere. A specific location is simply no longer a prerequisite to working effectively or building a company culture: what’s more important is getting the right tools and technologies and using them effectively.

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  • Low autonomy, low flexibility: I am mandated to be in the office full time.
  • Low autonomy, medium flexibility: I work from both the home and the office, but my organization tells me which days to be in which place.
  • Medium autonomy, medium flexibility: I can work from multiple locations, but with a minimum number of days required in the office each week.
  • Medium autonomy, high flexibility: I am mandated to work remotely full time but can choose where I want to work.
  • High autonomy, high flexibility: I can work wherever, whenever, with full access to my organization’s office space.

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In short, autonomy is an indispensable component of motivation and a key driver of performance and well-being.

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RELATED IDEA

Building High-Performing Teams

When it comes to building extraordinary workplaces and high-performing teams, researchers have long appreciated that three psychological needs are essential: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Decades of research demonstrate that when people feel psychologically fulfilled, they tend to be healthier, happier, and more productive.

Of those three essential needs, relatedness, or the desire to feel connected to others, has always been the trickiest for organizations to cultivate.

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How to increase motivation

A hundred years ago, it was much easier to motivate people. You could switch people from an hourly rate to a piece-rate system, where they would be motivated to do repetitive tasks faster. But in the knowledge or creative work economy, those tasks are becoming rare.

Richard Ryan and Edward Deci pioneered the self-determination theory, which states that people are motivated when they can determine for themselves what to work on and how to do it.

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