How to Manage Talent in a Flexible Workplace

July 27, 2015

flexible workplace

It’s official – the 9-5 job is dead. Actually, it has been dead for quite some time. Over the last 20 years, as technology has created an unprecedented number of tools to allow people to work anytime, anywhere, the hard boundaries of the workday have eroded. For many people, this is great news. Having the ability to work remotely allows companies to hire people who otherwise couldn’t be part of the talent pool because they don’t live nearby. And flexible schedules allow individuals to create schedules that allow them to do their best work.

Survey after survey has shown that offering flexibility makes employees happier with their jobs, more engaged with their work, and less stressed overall. But to achieve these great benefits, companies have to adapt how they manage. Time behind the desk is no longer a metric for whether or not an employee is working. How can companies manage the flexible workforce? It all comes down to four simple rules:

  1. Set Clear Expectations – Flexibility is a two-way street. Both the employer and the employee need to understand what’s expected and how the process is going to work.
  2. Create Individualized Plans – Flexibility is about balancing the needs of the job with the needs of the individual. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.
  3. Setup Communication Tools – If employees are working remotely, they still need to be in touch. Using communication tools like instant messaging, video chat, and other software keeps the lines of communication open.
  4. Check-In and Adapt – Being flexible also means adapting to changing situations. Finding the right balance can mean trying some different things until it works. Schedule regular check-ins to talk about the process in addition to the work.

Leveraging flexible talent is all about open communication, clear expectations, and individualized solutions. While it may take a few tries to get to the perfect fit, it’s worth it for both individuals and employers.

For more management tips and insights, check out Katy Tynan’s website.

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In a changing workplace, you have to adapt to be the best manager you can be. Learn all the management skills you need with these AMA resources and seminars:

About The Author

Katy Tynan is an expert in the future of work. She is the author of How Did I Not See This Coming: The New Manager’s Guide to Avoiding Total Disaster (ATD Press, 2017) and Survive Your Promotion (Personal Focus Press, 2010). Tynan is the founder and chief talent strategist at Liteskip Consulting Group.


  1. avatar

    […] Flexibility: Around 42% of employees would take a pay cut for more flexibility. If you can’t offer more money (or even if you can), consider offering remote work opportunities, […]

  2. avatar

    No, the 9 to 5 job is not dead. You might be, if your medical professional was not at work when you expect them to be (24/7/365). A number of occupations require “being there” during specific hours. That wasn’t clarified in your article.

  3. avatar

    […] It’s official – the 9-5 job is dead. Actually, it has been dead for quite some time. Your mission now – should you decide to accept it – is to manage talent in a flexible workplace. […]

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