The Future of Flexibility at Work

by Ellen Ernst Kossek, Patricia Gettings, and Kaumudi Misra

AS ORGANIZATIONS TENTATIVELY PLAN HOW to get work done amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus, both leaders and employees are touting the benefits of flexibility. But what does flexibility at work look like in practice? And how can you know whether your team or organization is using it successfully?

We are researchers who study how organizations of all types—from professional services and IT firms to hospitals, retail stores, and manufacturing facilities—manage flexibility. Over the course of our work we have asked leaders to tell us how they do so (or not). Here is a range of typical responses:

I accommodate employee needs for time to go to the gym ...

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