The old-school corporate approach of strict work hours and cubicle desks is slowly being replaced by a more flexible mindset. With the growth of the online market, more jobs in the digital realm pouring in every day, and the ability to work from home have reshaped the relationship we have with our jobs as well as the everyday work dynamics. However, some are still reluctant to replace their secure routine with a looser schedule, while others question the way in which this level of flexibility can help us advance.
If you are in between jobs, looking for extra work, or considering switching to the fluid side of the work force, consider the following ways in which such working arrangements can help you improve your work-life balance and advance more in your career.
Finding your own pace
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when all you do is organize your entire existence based on your working hours, which often leads to missed soccer games, recitals, as well as theatre tickets going to waste. Of course, having a strict schedule builds up discipline in work and ensures that you will deliver the needed amount of time and provide results for your job. However, flexibility is no excuse for procrastination, but it sure does make room for adjustments in your life.
For example, early-risers may appreciate the ability to hit the gym as soon as they wake up and postpone their work by an hour or two. On the other hand, night-owls may benefit from being able to push their work day into a work evening, while they sleep in and spend their day with their families and loved ones. This level of freedom helps people restore and maintain their mental health, which is a growing concern among employees around the globe.
Whether it’s reflected in offering occasional remote work days, or building an entire network of remote workers, a company, as well as its employees, greatly benefit from non-traditional hours. More often than not, the stress of a classic office atmosphere can be too overwhelming to actually inspire productivity. This is where people start counting minutes until the clock strikes five to get as far away as possible.
Working from home when you can, enjoying your lunch outside, or taking a break mid-work to exercise can all boost your ability to get things done. Suddenly, working is no longer about time, but results, allowing you to reduce the stress of spending a designated amount of time on something, if you can finish it sooner, with less pressure or a bunch of equally tense colleagues breathing down your neck.
Diversifying your efforts
How many side-gigs have you had to turn down because your full-time work schedule overlaps with the other offers? And how many times have you postponed some project of your own for the sake of your nine-to-five job? Although it’s admirable to stay devoted to a single career path, flexibility in the work place allows people to explore a wide spectrum of options and supplement their income in a variety of ways.
For example, if you’re able to work from home or design your own working hours, you can freelance as a copywriter, take paid surveys online in exchange for cash or rewards, or even create your own website to teach online. If added financial security doesn’t sound like a perk of more flexibility in the corporate world, then nothing else will. Who knows, you may even discover a new passion while freelancing!
Improving your health
No matter what you do, if you struggle with burnout too often and find yourself feeling drained and exhausted most of the time, then advancing in your career will most definitely suffer. For any business to thrive, you need to be a devoted worker who is eager to learn and grow. Even if you’re a solopreneur trying to stick to a strict schedule, you might be doing more harm than good to yourself.
Studies have shown that many layers of our lifestyle get neglected with a rigorous routine of work. From an increased risk of heart disease, chronic stress exposure, all the way to the lack of sleep, it’s only a matter of time when the effects of working in this manner will take place. On the other hand, letting yourself spend quality time socializing, getting fit, and sleeping, even if your working hours get a little scattered, you will give yourself a much more viable chance to become a more successful employee or entrepreneur.
Getting to know the world
For employees as well as companies, flexibility erases all borders. Simply put, anyone can work for anyone online, from the comfort of their home, with the ability to visit their office, go on company-organized team-building trips, and meet many people in the process. You can travel and keep working wherever you have an Internet connection, while your team-mates are mere clicks away.
For curious individuals whose wanderlust is very prominent, this freedom to experience new cultures both through work and independently can be precisely what they need to thrive in their work of choice. From a different perspective, this also lets employers have access to workers from all over the globe, thus enriching their culture and diversifying their skillset.