Promoting Equitable Flexibility at the Workplace

In the VUCA world, equitable flexibility prepares the organization to face any kind of challenges – both internal and external.  It is no longer a luxury or a choice but a necessity if we need to survive, progress, and thrive by bringing DEI to workplace. 

Promoting Equitable Flexibility at the Workplace
At one point in time, flexibility was looked at as something that brought work-life balance. It was discussed in terms of attracting and retaining women in the workplace.

Promoting Equitable Flexibility at the Workplace

We are living in times where organizations have a multi-generational and gender-balanced workforce. This diversity infuses new thoughts, approaches, and actions. To leverage that, organizations need to create inclusive policies, processes, and practices where everyone feels encouraged to give their best and flourish in whatever role they are assigned.   

Flexibility is one of the important factors candidates consider while approaching a particular job.  It also plays a major role in whether to accept or reject an offer. Conventionally, for years together most of the businesses operated in a fixed fashion, without much room for flexibility.  

However, the same organizations had to adopt flexibility as a compulsive arrangement during the pandemic.  It gradually became a new normal and some organizations continued the trend as it provided advantages to both employees and the business.  

At one point in time, flexibility was looked at as something that brought work-life balance. It was discussed in terms of attracting and retaining women in the workplace. It occupies a center stage even now but is not limited to flexitime.  It has progressed far and beyond to include flexibility in terms of location, work schedules, result-based assessment, or ways of delivering feedback. 

Flexibility, when implemented equitably, creates a culture in the organization where employees feel valued, engaged and will be able to give their best.  In return, organizations reap the benefit of having the right talent, enhanced productivity, and retention.   

In the VUCA world, equitable flexibility prepares the organization to face any kind of challenges – both internal and external.  It is no longer a luxury or a choice but a necessity if we need to survive, progress, and thrive by bringing DEI to workplace. Let us try to look at equitable flexibility in the following aspects:

1. Flexitime

Finland has been declared the happiest country in the world consecutively for four times.  One of the reasons could be that it is more modern and inclusive in its approach. It brought flexible working when it was not even thought about in the rest of the world.  

Apparently, they passed Working Hours Act in 1996 which allowed employees to start or finish 3 hours earlier or later than their core working hours. The same Act was upgraded in 2020 by increasing the hours from 3 to 50%. 

Flexitime or having a shorter workweek is attractive and most sought after, as it provides a comfortable solution for managing personal and family responsibilities much better rather than juggling as much as possible or leaving the rest for want of time.   

2. Flexilocation

SAP is one of the leaders in enterprise application software. They have around 1.2 lakh employees and are present in more than 180 countries. They believe that they can attract the best talent by looking anywhere in the country or anywhere in the globe. 

When employees are able to choose their own location to operate from, it gives the organization the advantage of attracting the best talent from every nook and corner. Most IT professionals dream of getting a job at Google due to its inclusive policies, care for employee wellbeing, and empowering them to choose their work hours or work location.

3. Flexiwork

Studies say that 48% of the time salary and benefits are the reason candidates choose a particular job or company. However, experience shows that candidates search for more than good salary.  

Employer of Choice is the potential of the organization to attract and retain talent. Job satisfaction is a strong engaging factor and when employees get to do meaningful work it builds capability by reskilling and upskilling. It also helps the company to have robust and experienced talent pipeline. 

4. Flexi-assessment

Completion of work within the target timelines is more important than being present in the office. When productivity and performance are measured based on task completion, ROI can be quantified, and assessments can be objective. 

It leads to better-focused efforts by employees, and they give their best. It also improves the overall productivity of the organization.   

Importance of Making Flexibility Equitable

As elucidated above, there are so many ways that a company can provide flexibility. However, companies need to be careful, both in designing as well as implementing these initiatives, so that they are well-balanced and equitable among the diverse workforce of the company.  

It is not about being equal but equitable, hence automatically some type of flexibility may work for one group of employees while another one for some other group.  For example, traditionally more flexibility has been accorded to women during pregnancy and the child-care phase. 

Now policies are inclusive by introducing child-care leave, paternity leave, etc.   Hence, a neutral and unbiased approach, equitably covering all age groups, gender, or location, will create the right mix and right culture in the organization.

Enablers to Support Equitable Flexibility at Workplace

1- Leadership

Leaders play a major role in introducing equitable flexibility at the workplace. The right kind of policies, stemming from beliefs and values of leadership, should be practiced on a larger scale rather than just adhoc. All managers and leaders need to accept unconditionally and should be equally empowered to implement. When everyone supports and prioritizes equitable flexibility, companies not only attract more talent but also create success stories in retention. 

2- Digitization and Automation

This era of digitization with high-end digital tools is a boon for organizations as they help create higher avenues of flexibility in all aspects. Technology organization reaps the maximum benefit in every sphere including flexibility.

Investing in the right tools and software and providing access to the same to all the employees irrespective of grade/level, improves the digital quotient of the organization. 

When data, information, reports and dashboards are available to everyone at a click of a button, it improves efficiency and would be a cornerstone to adopting equitable flexibility in the workplace.

3- Policies and SOPs

The bedrock of providing equitable flexibility is the company’s policies and SOPs. These policies need to be cognizant of the divergent nature of flexibility needed by the employees while fitting them into the overall policy framework of the organization.   

When policies are backed with workable SOPs, which can be easily understood and followed by HR and other employees of the organization, it helps organization to remain dynamic and ready to adapt to the ever-changing requirements – both internal and external.


Overall, equitable flexibility at workplace is multi-dimensional. Companies do realize that it is essential for overall wellbeing and engagement.  

When employees are given a choice to operate, defining the boundaries, it creates strong governance as well as establishes an enabling environment where employees can give their best to meet the organisational objectives.   


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here