What Are The Attributes of Workplace Flexibility? (Employee and Workplace)

Workplace flexibility has several characteristics attributable to it. These attributes make it what it is. They are what makes it so effective as an alternative to the traditional workplace environment. Being able to recognize these attributes require knowledge which can only be garnered through experience and research. This article has been written from a combination of these two; knowledge gained from experience of working in a flexible work environment and that gathered from doing tons of research. In this article, you will gain knowledge of workplace flexibility and the many attributes that characterize it.

What are the attributes of workplace flexibility?

Workplace attributes: Mobility, Open Communication, Increased Productivity,

Employee attributes: Self-discipline, Innovation and “no-excuses” attitude, Time management, Competence

Workplace flexibility has several attributes and characteristics. By attributes, we are referring to the good qualities and characteristics that can be associated with workplace flexibility. This workplace arrangement is replete with attributes such as effective collaboration and the ability to help the employees attain a balance between their work life and their personal life. Apart from workplace flexibility attributes, you will also find attributes that can be associated with someone who has a flexible work time.

Characteristics of a Modern Workplace

Workplace flexibility is a modern invention. That is to say that it has the attributes of one. The following are some of those attributes that you’re certain to notice in a flexible workplace.

Workforce is Increasingly Mobile

This means that a large portion of the workforce can work from anywhere. The International Data Corporation estimates that by the year 2020, about 72.3% of the U. S. workforce will be working remotely. That shows just how fast companies these days are making the switch from a traditional workforce to a modern, mobile one. A mobile workforce is a flexible one as it fulfils some of the tenets used to classify a flexible workplace such as the ability to work from anywhere, the ability to choose the means by which to work and so on. This ability to work from anywhere is an attribute that characterizes workplace flexibility. One of the reasons for the growing popularity of the mobile workforce globally is the fact that it helps workers achieve a better work/life balance: this is to say that workers can lead better lives in which they have time to spend on themselves and with their loved ones while at the same time being able to accomplish their tasks. That is to say that a mobile workforce gives workers the opportunity to accomplish all they need to in both their work as well as their personal lives without having to let one suffer for the other.

The mobile workforce is not only advantageous to the employees, but it also has many advantages to offer employers of labor. This is because, since workers can work from anywhere, there will be little to no need for them to ask for and take time off to travel and for other things. This means that the employer will be able to get more working time from the employees.

The ability to work from anywhere has been largely successful in part because of better communication technologies which workers to stay in touch and communicate in real time. Instantly recognizable examples include Skype for Business by Microsoft and OneDrive. With Skype, participants in a project can work from anywhere in the world while maintaining constant communication and OneDrive provides the opportunity to share files and materials as well as a chance to work simultaneously on a project. This significantly reduces the problems that would have otherwise arisen from the inability to share materials and information amongst each other.

Better, and More Open Communication

One of the attributes you’re certain to find with a flexible workplace is more open means of communication. This is to say that the leaders of such organizations are answerable to their employees and as such, include them in the decision making of the company. More open means of communication include the usage of social media tools as well as new applications coming up in recent times where employees and employers can discuss, communicate and air their opinions on certain issues. Examples of these new tools are Slack and Yammer. These new tools eliminate the need for physical meetings which is not usually all inclusive due to the possibility of a couple of people missing due to one reason or the other.

These new tools allow for the creation of groups on an as-needed basis. That is to say that public and private groups can be created to foster communication. For instance, there can be a group page for all employees and employers of a company to communicate and there can also be a small, private one for members of an exclusive team to communicate.

These significantly reduce miscommunication and transmission of information between an organization’s leadership hierarchy and its workforce.

Communicating through these avenues will help employees feel valued as each individual will be able to air his/her views on pertinent issues. Employees who feel valued and that their inputs are appreciated are certain to be more engaged with their work and less likely to leave in search of greener pastures. As such, there will be an increase in productivity as well as a reduction in employee turnover.

Increased Productivity

Another attribute – and a very important one – of workplace flexibility is the fact that it leads to increased productivity. The ability to work flexibly and on their own time will allow employees to better organize how they work which will lead to them working at periods when they’re at their best mentally and physically and as such, allow them to be more productive.

There is also the advantage that employees wouldn’t have to spend so much time, energy and money commuting to work which can instead be applied to more productive efforts such as getting more work done, strategizing, contributing to family chores and so much more.

Also, the fact that they can do more for their families will lead to better health mentally and physically which will lead to better work engagement and eventually to better productivity.

Workplace flexibility, if manages effectively, has many benefits to offer an organization. It is not without its challenges such as employees lagging behind and having a lackadaisical attitude towards work. If all of these supposed challenges are, however, managed effectively, the sky is but the starting point for all the benefits that this alternative to the traditional workplace offers.

Attributes of Employees Who Work Flexibly

In order for workplace flexibility to succeed and have all the above attributes, it is essential that the employees who are given the opportunity to work flexibly possess the following attributes without which an opportunity to work flexibly would have been an exercise in failure.


Working remotely and on a flexible work time requires copious amounts of discipline. It requires being able to block out and resist the allure of internet TV, it requires being able to stay off your phone and social media while you work and attempt to accomplish a task. It requires being able to give your full attention and time to the work at hand otherwise, you won’t achieve much.

Without self-discipline on the part of employees and the ability to get things done without supervision, workplace flexibility would not be an option in the first place. As such, it is important that organizations ensure their employees have these in large amounts and that they’re able to accomplish their tasks even when not being supervised.

If employees are not able to caution themselves and concentrate on the task at hand, their flexible work time should be curtailed else, the opposite of adopting this approach would be achieved. That is to say that instead of experiencing increased productivity, there will e a decrease instead. This would be self-defeating, and nobody wants that.

Innovation and a “No-Excuses” Attitude

In order for workplace flexibility to succeed and for the above attributes to be showcased, it is essential that the employees are innovative and can always come up with solutions when faced with challenges. That is to say that employees need to be able to work on their own without having to contact their superior every five minutes due to hitting a snag. Employees that can run with basic instructions and guidelines and use such to accomplish any and every task are better suited for flexible worktime than those who have to be handheld and guided through every task. Consequently, workplace flexibility is only feasible with employees that can take initiative, employees that can take an idea and run with it.

Good Time Management or the Ability to Accomplish Tasks Within Set Periods

Another attribute that is essential for employees to have in order for workplace flexibility to succeed is good time management. That is to say that they are comfortable with working with deadlines and do deliver. These deadlines will, however, be mostly self-imposed. The only way such can be accomplished is through a high degree of discipline and self-control such that the person can focus his/her attention on a particular project/task without giving in to temptations all around.

Efficient flexible workers are, thus, able to set time periods for themselves in which to accomplish things and they are able to stick to it and get things done. Without this attribute, workplace flexibility is doomed to fail and none of its supposed attributes will be accomplished.


Yet another attribute essential for the success of workplace flexibility is competence. Employees that will constitute the workforce should be very competent and know their way around their job. As such, there will be no need for dependence on bosses or other team members in order to get tasks accomplished. Competence is very essential if any organization – whether traditional or modern – is to succeed. It is especially necessary and important in order for a flexible workplace to succeed, however, due to the fact that there will be little to no supervision involved. As such, there’s a need for there to be trust that the employee can get the job done and this can only exist if the employee is competent, capable and confident.

Apart from being competent, they take initiative which makes them to constantly strive to meet their targets and objectives such that they can be more valuable to their organization and help drive it forward.

Workplace flexibility due to its many attributes is being adopted at a rapid pace by companies and organizations worldwide these days. It is believed to be the future of the workplace environment by some while, yet others are skeptical about it. One thing is certain, however, and that is the many advantages and benefits it offers both employers of labor and the employees. That is why it is important that every organization and brand has it implemented to at least an extent, in their workplace. The attributes are many and it is hoped that the few ones I’ve been able to provide are, at the very least, enough to make you consider adopting workplace flexibility in your workplace. I hope they’ve been able to clarify and enlighten you as to the many attributes you stand to gain when you have a flexible workplace.

Frequently asked questions

What does being flexible at work mean?  Being flexible at work entails several things. For instance, the ability to quickly adapt and adjust to a changing work environment, change of tools and the likes. A flexible employee is one who is not stuck in his/her ways and can readily discard old knowledge in favor of new ones is flexible.

How can I be more flexible at work?  There are several things that are required in order to be a more flexible employee. For instance, there is the need to maintain your core values so that even amidst ongoing changes, the core of your person doesn’t change and you’re able to work as much, or even much more than you were before. Having a positive attitude will also go a long way. A lot of times things will appear frustrating to you due to not having people around you to help with what you’re doing. In such situations, and in others, it is quite essential to not give up, to keep applying yourself diligently and strongly and eventually, you might get just what you want. Some other things you need to work on in order to work flexibly and remotely are; plan beforehand, cultivate a positive mindset and so on.

What does workplace adaptability mean?  Adaptability refers to the ability and capability of an employee to change and evolve with the times. For instance, employees that were able to make the switch from typing with typewriters to Microsoft Word when the personal computer came along were adaptable.

Steve Todd

Steve Todd, founder of Open Sourced Workplace and is a recognized thought leader in workplace strategy and the future of work. With a passion for work from anywhere, Steve has successfully implemented transformative strategies that enhance productivity and employee satisfaction. Through Open Sourced Workplace, he fosters collaboration among HR, facilities management, technology, and real estate professionals, providing valuable insights and resources. As a speaker and contributor to various publications, Steve remains dedicated to staying at the forefront of workplace innovation, helping organizations thrive in today's dynamic work environment.

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