Workforce Flexibility Then vs. Now: How the Words Have Changed and So Have We

Presence equals productivity.

Give workers an inch and they’ll take a mile.

Working parents are more needy.

Believe it or not, these statements were the standard management mindset not too long ago. Granted, each sentiment has a small element of truth: When someone is nearby, you can see what they’re up to, sure. Yes, you’ll encounter the occasional worker who does take extra advantage of corporate perks. Team members with kids indeed have a lot to think about. It’s true.  

However, the days of jumping to negative conclusions are over. Astute leaders know that productivity is subjective, and some people do their best work on a park bench, while others achieve greatness in the focus of a dark room. Further, for every bad apple that takes advantage of a company-sponsored benefit, there are scores of workers who aim higher out of gratitude for the perk. Many experts agree that top-down flexibility and support contributes to lower worker turnover, something every team can appreciate.

As enterprise-level brands have worked more and more creatively to attract and retain the brightest talent out there, flexibility has taken center stage. But flexible work is not a new concept. In fact, throughout the decades, flexibility has saved the day in more ways than you’d expect. Let’s take a look.

Featured in: Workforce Flexibility

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