Benefits of Operational Flexibility
Want to make sure your business won't snap when the winds of change start blowing, as they inevitably will? Make sure you build in lots of operational flexibility. As the economy evolves at an increasingly rapid pace, companies need to stay nimble in order to keep up. With flexibility baked into business operations, your enterprise stays light on its feet. Here are a few ways operational flexibility can benefit your company, as well as some practical ideas to consider.
Stay Adaptable in a Shifting Economy
Don't fight change; evolve with it. When business operations are too rigid, you can't easily roll with the punches when something disruptive comes along in your industry. Remaining adaptable helps businesses weather times of economic uncertainty — as well as times of rapid growth — because they aren't locked in to using methods that no longer work.
Sometimes you know a big change is coming for your business, and flexibility helps ease the transition. For example, when Baptist Health Miami embarked on a 370,000-square-foot expansion project, hospital decision-makers were determined to keep efficiency high during construction. They used CORT Furniture Rental to furnish adjustable swing spaces across the facility to ensure employees had work areas that were comfortable and equipped and patients had access to rooms and waiting areas that didn't feel temporary. Even though Baptist Health underwent a major change, the flexible spaces helped keep its standard of care high.
Attract and Retain the Best Employees
The 9-to-5 workday is quickly becoming a thing of the past, as forward thinking companies strive to provide flexible work arrangements to help employees attain a better work-life balance in a 24/7 economy. In fact, doing this is one of the most effective strategies to grow business flexibility. Here are some common flex work arrangements to consider:
- Allow employees to work from home (telecommute) full or part time.
- Offer flex hours, such as a four-day workweek.
- Implement distributed teams, with multiple workers covering a 24-hour time block.
- Offer job sharing, where two employees do the work of one.
Flexible work arrangements lead to happy, loyal employees. Of the hundreds of small-business employees who participated in The State of Flexible Work Arrangements 2018 by Zenefits, 73 percent said flexible work arrangements increased work satisfaction, and 78 percent reported higher productivity. Seventy-seven percent said workplace flexibility is a major consideration when weighing job offers.
It's essential to equip workers with the technology needed to do business from anywhere, ensuring a seamless experience for everyone, including co-workers and clients. This means giving your offsite (and traveling) employees access to smartphones, tablets, cloud servers, and messaging services so they are always reachable.
Flexible companies are open to changing the way they do things if the new way is more efficient. One way to do this is by eliminating red tape. Unnecessary bureaucracy leads to less efficient operations. Instead, give employees at all levels the power to make decisions to do their jobs well.
Consider implementing a "results-only work environment," where employees are evaluated based on performance metrics and not their physical presence or hours worked. Empower employees with the freedom to get those desired results, and you may be surprised by what they accomplish.
Also, make frequent reviews and assessments a priority. It's easy to plow forward doing what you've always done, but companies that take the time to pause and assess employee performance and operational efficiency can use the data they acquire to change course for the better, ultimately saving time and resources in the long run.
Freedom from Overhead
Another major benefit of operational flexibility is freedom from overhead costs, especially those associated with premises. Gone are the days when you must lock down a 10-year commercial lease that comes with more square footage than you need. Flexible lease terms and co-working spaces are much more common than in the past. This frees up cash flow and helps you maintain healthy margins.
Another strategy to help keep your company's budget stable is renting office furniture rather than buying. If you plan to change locations, if your business expands and contracts with the seasons, or if you simply want to keep your options open in the startup phase, then renting office furniture for a predictable monthly fee may be a smart alternative to investing a huge chunk of money in furniture up front.
For example, Lakes Region Community College in New Hampshire decided to rent furniture from CORT for its new on-campus housing units rather than buying. The college was able to offer higher quality furnishings and retained the flexibility to exchange pieces based on student feedback and changing design requirements. CORT handled the style and layout, as well as ongoing maintenance and repairs on the furniture, saving the college time and resources.
As the modern workforce becomes more mobile and offsite work arrangements become more of the norm, it makes sense to keep your physical office space just as mobile and flexible. CORT Furniture Rental has enterprise solutions that can help you find a solution for your next business challenge.