Building a better workplace culture: Flexibility

CRS Trends  »  Sustainability culture   »   Building a better workplace culture: Flexibility

Attracting talent is one of the most prevalent missions of any company as younger generations’ demands begin to be set up straight. But what is the use of attracting talent while your own employees could be feeling burned out, overwhelmed or underdeveloped professionally and personally?

In Spain alone 62% of young workers are likely to change jobs in this same year, and numbers seem to suggest a flexible schedule and location of the job are more relevant factors than retribution. Overall, it seems rather clear that a one-size-fits-all approach to corporate culture does not align with the needs of a post pandemic society.

Flexibility seems to be the only way forward, not just for young people, but for everyone who, after a few months of uncertainty, have shifted priorities which do not necessarily apply in their current workplaces’ efforts to go ‘’back to normal’’. It is in this context that we have chosen to analyze flexibility and its benefits from the two, seemingly, most relevant perspectives: time and location.

Overall, it seems rather clear that a one-size-fits-all approach to corporate culture does not align with the needs of a post pandemic society. 

There is no way back (to normal)


The all so famous 9 to 5 does no longer seem like the option most people are willing to go back to. We can say there has been a realization, mainly among employees although slowly growing inside companies’ culture, about the difference between presenteeism and performance. 

Where companies measuring the real outcomes and performance of their employees? Or where they simply relying on the time spent sitting on their desks? These are some of the questions that come up today as people begin to realize their productivity and professionalism were never a matter of time or location.

There are those who are now advocating for a working model in which people can choose where, when and how they are most productive and just go from there in order to deliver the right results. However, and unfortunately, nothing comes as easy as just letting be, and changes need to be made. In this particular context, company culture can not remain the same as it was. This is, we cannot choose to solve a problem with the same mentality that created it.

Giving people their own personal freedoms puts a strain on equity across the company. And of course, not every job type can offer the same conditions, but chances are a strong and well functioning culture will work well and adapt accordingly in any circumstance providing the necessary flexibility for all employees.

Location flexibility


Is working from home as productive? Aren’t there more distractions? Can we trust people on what they do if we cannot see them all the time? Let’s dive in to some key tips and actions that can actually help location flexibility work best for your company:

  • Create guidelines for working remotely. Ever since the pandemic hit, working from home has become the reality for many. However, following the same in-office rules or expectations is just not going to work. We need to think of family, home chores or other similar situations in which one may not be able to be present or fully present (E.g.: not a good time to put on the camera). If guidelines can respect that, then people will find the necessary freedom to attend to all of their responsibilities equally well.
  • Get senior leaders and managers work from home. A sometime underrated and overlooked possibility is that of teaching by example; or more so, supporting by example. There are time in which people who choose to work from home find it ‘wrong’ or somewhat of a burden. One way to eliminate this feeling and encourage healthy flexibility, is by taking on a meeting from the CEO’s living room or your managers balcony. The bottomline is to show that working from home is also working.

Time flexibility


People can choose where to work, but what about time? How can we make it work? Is it realistic to let people chose when to work? What about time zones? There seems to be enough data to suggest letting people find their own prefered schedule can actually be positive if we just look at the right things.

  • Measure results, not time. The shift in companies should be in how they measure and understand good employee performance. Do we reward those who work beyond their hours? Or do we focus on people meeting the goals that where set for them? Working more hours does not necessarily reflect upon results for the better, and working less hours does not necessarily mean a poorer outcome.

  • You don’t need to drown employees with meetings. Finding other ways of communication and team work is essential to stop a cycle of meeting-after-meeting, often unnecessary and just time consuming. Don’t get me wrong, meetings are important and some things need to be discussed verbally. Additionally, it gives people a little window of time to socialize and have a small chat with a co-worker. But at this point you’ve probably heard the phrase: It could’ve been an email. Well, could it? There are many technological advantages today that help work on something together with another employee simultaneously, and that needs to be explored beyond meetings.

When flexibility meets transparency


We believe and work for transparency to be one of the key values driving the fight for climate action, social wellbeing and good governance as it is the only way to understand what we are doing wrong, what we are doing right and what it is that we are not doing yet.

Because being transparent is not only an externality to a company, or a given organization, to help build trust and reputation; it is in fact also a great learning and improvement mechanism. You cannot manage what you don’t understand. And so we advocate for transparency, integrity and precision as imperatives to the fight against climate change.

In this regard, it is essential to our work to promote good corporate governance, meaning that the processes of disclosure and transparency are followed so as to provide regulators and shareholders as well as the general public with precise and accurate information about the financial, operational and other aspects of the company, including a more accurate definition of the ESG performance.

We have developed a corporate government tool that helps establish ESG impact objectives for employees in regards to the sustainability strategy of the company. Through our technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society.

If you want to know more about how we work to create a positive social and environmental impact, click here.