EAP Corner, Wholeness Healing Today

Adaptability and Flexibility in the Workplace

“In a rapidly changing world, adaptability is key.”

Our workplaces are not the same as they were before 2020. Change has been in our faces and the need for adaptability and flexibility has increased. These skills have always been important but since 2020, we have seen rapid changes. If we didn’t have these skills before 2020, we have certainly had to lean into these skills since 2020. Validating how these skills have been used and realizing the growth and development that came from implementing these skills can help us as we move forward and continue to enhance flexibility and adaptability at work.

Adaptability is the willingness to change your behavior or strategy as needed to adjust to a changing environment. Flexibility is the capacity of an organization and its employees to adapt, adjust and respond effectively to changes and challenging circumstances. Being flexible and adaptable at work is a valuable skill in today’s rapidly changing business environment. We certainly needed it when the Pandemic happened in 2020. But the need hasn’t stopped. We are not the same as we were before the Pandemic, and our workplaces have continued to change and evolve, requiring us to strengthen our adaptability and flexibility muscles to ensure we keep our businesses and workplaces running smoothly and productively. Here are some examples of ways you and your workplace are requiring these skills.
Remote work requires individuals and employers to adapt to new work environments, schedules, and technologies. Flexibility became essential in managing work-life balance and maintaining productivity as we moved to remote work. Many employees continue to maintain a remote work schedule. Employers have found that remote work has opened doors for a larger field of potential employees, making this option something to be considered. Remote working has continued to be something we have to manage.
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies requiring employees to learn collaboration tools, video platforms and systems to stay connected and productive. The learning curve may have been steep but also very necessary. Most of us had to roll up our sleeves and find some flexible and adaptive muscles to make it through the initial challenging time. This hasn’t stopped as the need for technology has only escalated since the Pandemic.
Many businesses and organizations have now moved to a hybrid work model combining remote and in-office work. This arrangement requires flexibility in managing work schedules and adapting to changing office dynamics. Rigidity doesn’t work well in this kind of model as you have to accept when people will be in-person and resort to communication in whatever mode will work according to where people are working.
Job role changes have certainly required employees and employers to adapt to new responsibilities, tasks or priorities related to the pandemic response and to the new problems with hiring and maintaining employees. Flexible work arrangements are being adapted to accommodate employees’ diverse needs and circumstances including flexible hours, reduced workweeks, and remote working. Role changes have been required when a position is not filled but the work still needs to be done. It requires us to realize we must step up and work as a team filling in and helping in those areas that need our attention even if it isn’t our “job”.
These are just a few of the many ways we have had to adapt and be flexible since 2020. Employers and employees have had to step up and learn how to be flexible in their work approach, adapting to new challenges. In a rapidly changing world, adaptability is key. Handling unexpected challenges and pivoting, when necessary, can help you thrive in difficult situations. Take some time to assess your own ability to implement these two skills in your work life. Validate how you have been able to do this and make mental notes where you could improve your own well-being by expanding on this a bit more. These are valuable assets and skills to bring to your work life. Your workplace benefits from these assets you bring to the table, and you become a valuable team member. You also benefit personally from learning to live in this way as your life is easier as a result of being able to master challenges with adaptability and flexibility.
Employers can call if they are interested in exploring the opportunity to offer these benefits to their employees. I can be reached at 308.382.5297 Ext 127.



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