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How to be flexible at work

Speedy technological advances, together with fast-paced modifications in international markets and the political panorama, imply that as we speak’s workplaces are sometimes unpredictable.

Your group has in all probability undergone main change of 1 form or one other lately – most have. Maybe, because of this, you have discovered your self taking up new tasks, or working with quite a lot of completely different groups or throughout completely different features.

See more: How to be flexible at work

Possibly your business is in a state of upheaval, with no two days the identical, otherwise you’ve needed to adapt to working underneath a succession of various managers. All of which means that it is extra essential than ever that you’re versatile and aware of sudden change.

On this article, we clarify what it means to be versatile, the way it can profit you, and how one can obtain it.

What Is Flexibility?

Flexibility is the capability to regulate to short-term change rapidly and calmly, with the intention to take care of surprising issues or duties successfully. Listed below are a couple of examples of the way you may display it:

  • Provide to assist out one other group member for those who discover that she or he is overloaded.
  • Volunteer to cowl a colleague’s work whereas he’s on go away.
  • Contemplate permitting individuals to make money working from home to assist them obtain a greater work/life stability .
  • If you come throughout an issue, provide up quite a lot of options which may repair it.

Why Be Versatile?

Most of us have skilled change within the office in some unspecified time in the future. In reality, in accordance with 2014 analysis from the Manpower Group, 74 p.c of UK companies have undergone a restructure up to now 5 years.

We won’t at all times predict when modifications like these are going to occur. That is why flexibility is so essential. If you’re versatile, you are versatile, resilient and responsive to alter. You may adapt to surprising calls for within the office – sudden surges in work, pressing issues, or an unpredictable occasion , corresponding to a cyber safety breach or monetary crash, for example.

Versatile individuals are extremely prized by managers and companies. They assist to stabilize conditions when disaster strikes. They hold targets achievable and inside attain, and so they usually “go the additional mile ” to help colleagues who’re in want of recommendation or assist.

How you can Be Extra Versatile

Flexibility entails having an open, team-centered angle, and retaining a powerful sense of identification and function. Listed below are seven methods that you could obtain this:

1. Deal with Your Core Values

Having key attributes that do not shift can hold you grounded in periods of change. Utilizing your core values and your group’s tradition as anchor factors will allow you to to determine what you possibly can and might’t conform to once you obtain an surprising request.

Taking up accountability for a mission that can get your group nearer to assembly its annual goal is one factor; however, if this entails doing one thing that’s legally or ethically doubtful, you must steer clear.

2. Be Open-Minded

You will probably discover it simpler to know and handle a state of affairs for those who take a look at it from completely different views . For instance, for those who’re seeking to launch a brand new product, you may first like to research it from completely different viewpoints.

How will it match into {the marketplace}, for example? What is going to the influence be in your manufacturing course of, and your gross sales and advertising groups? How do you suppose your clients will react to it?

Make it a precedence to take heed to and perceive the views of the opposite individuals concerned. In case your supervisor asks you to assist out on an pressing mission, for instance, contemplate the way it will profit the group or your profession, slightly than merely pondering, “Oh no, no more work!”

3. Develop Your Talent Set

For those who do not make an effort to study new expertise, you may probably discover that when an surprising occasion does happen, you will not be outfitted to take care of it.

Deal with this by staying interested in what is going on on round you. Sustain-to-date with new business tendencies by studying up on the most recent improvements and analysis, and broaden your information by cross-skilling .

4. Be Optimistic

It may be troublesome to remain constructive when a big, pressing mission is on the horizon. However, wanting on the intense aspect and specializing in the positives will allow you to to remain resilient and centered. A break or change in your routine might be a possibility to study new expertise, or to work with completely different colleagues, new shoppers or new suppliers.

5. Keep Calm

When expectations shift all of a sudden, it may be disconcerting and also you may discover that you simply begin to really feel anxious. Counter the consequences of stress (corresponding to lack of focus and impaired determination making) by taking steps to revive calm . You may discover suggestions and strategies for doing this in our article, Managing Stress .

6. Plan Forward

Even if you cannot predict the long run, you possibly can nonetheless plan for the surprising.

Anticipating the following new improvement, measuring dangers and getting ready for them are key expertise. For instance, if you’re pitching a services or products to a possible consumer, it is a good suggestion to consider the questions that she may ask, and to arrange your solutions forward of time.

7. Have a Sturdy Assist Community

Having a powerful and secure group round you is important in instances of flux. It implies that, irrespective of the difficulties you’re going through, you could have individuals who you possibly can depend on to help you.

Strengthen the relationships that you’ve got along with your co-workers by constructing belief . You might begin by, for instance, providing to tackle extra duties when a colleague is busy, or by serving to him with a system or course of that he’s discovering troublesome to make use of.

Not solely will this increase collaboration and positivity throughout your group, however it should probably encourage your colleagues to return the favor if you end up the one in want of assist.

How you can Encourage Workforce Flexibility

As a supervisor, you are accountable for growing a group tradition that values and encourages flexibility. The next suggestions may also help you to just do that:

Overcome Resistance to Change

Anticipating your group members to adapt to altering circumstances robotically is usually a “massive ask.”

So, the following time an enormous change is on the horizon, encourage your individuals to be extra versatile by clearly explaining why the change is critical. Spell out its advantages to them and to the group, and take care to not gloss over any particulars.

For extra recommendations on the right way to assist your individuals to beat resistance to alter, learn our article, Beckhard and Harris’ Change Equation .

Foster a Sense of Safety

To be versatile, individuals want to have the ability to “suppose on their ft” and act boldly in methods which are new and unfamiliar.

Give your individuals the self-confidence to do that by creating an surroundings wherein they really feel supported and trusted, and the place they will check out new concepts with out worry of failure or punishment. And encourage them to share their findings with the remainder of the group.

Lead With Goal

When individuals are clear on the targets that they should attain, and what they should do to attain them, shorter-term challenges may have a much less disruptive influence. So, make sure you clearly talk your group’s function and its shared targets, and revisit them recurrently so that everybody stays on observe.

Encourage Creativity

When individuals are given the liberty to be inventive , they’re going to probably discover it simpler to adapt to new methods of working, to seek out options to issues, and to make higher choices when surprising points crop up.

Encourage creativity in your group by main by instance . Counsel new concepts your self, and invite different individuals to supply suggestions and options. Not solely will this encourage a way of journey , however it should additionally drive group collaboration and engagement.

Empathize

Flexibility is not nearly responding to occasions rapidly. It additionally entails responding to the completely different wants of your group members. When there’s an pressing drawback, you may probably discover that some individuals leap on the problem, whereas others seem to cave underneath the strain.

Do not “write off” these individuals. Keep in mind simply how a lot you are asking of them. Faucet into your emotional intelligence by displaying them that you simply perceive and empathize with them in regards to the challenges that they face. Ask if there’s something you are able to do to assist them. Might you present extra coaching, for instance, or pair them up with a extra assured colleague?

Lastly, bear in mind to offer reward, and to reward your group members once they present initiative or have reacted effectively to a state of affairs that calls for flexibility.

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