While employees know that they need to clock a certain number of hours to get their job completed how and where they spend that time often allows space for choice and flexibility. When employers foster autonomy they enable their employees to feel they have ‘agency’ in their day, creating an environment where they can bring their best self to work. Ultimately this correlates with creativity, innovation and productivity in the workplace.

5 ways to offer more flexible, productive and comfortable workplaces:

  1. Allowing flexible start and end times can help employees spend less time on the road in traffic and more time with their families, improving their happiness and satisfaction.
  2. Some businesses experience seasonality, that is, a time of year where business is a little bit slower. Consider offering flexible, unpaid time off during slower periods of the year. Employees can determine if they’d like to take additional time off to spend on personal projects or to spend more time with family.
  3. Exercise is an important part of being healthy, relieving stress and feeling good. For most employees this usually means getting up extra early or heading to the gym after work. Consider encouraging employees to take an extra-long lunch break to work out. They can add any extra time spent to the end of their work day and look forward to heading directly home after work.
  4. Being in the same spot all day can feel uninspiring and a change of location often brings a world of good. Consider designating one room or a semi-private area as a ‘library’ which can function as a quiet and comfortable workspace where employees can work on written work or brainstorm in silence.
  5. Encourage walking meetings which create an opportunity for employees to enjoy a change of scenery and activity. A walking meeting is a short meeting where attendees walk around the block or their workplace discussing daily updates, brainstorming or talking about weekly priorities.