I have clear that my priority is to help. But there are many different ways to help. For me flexibility is the value that explains how I help.
The basics are to listen and to help immediately if I can. I want to be accessible and available almost at all times. Someone that you can easily contact, who you can talk with and who can help you quickly if possible. I have never had a WhatsApp message left without responding and I also respond the same day, whether they are from friends or from work. Only with this approach I can have peace of mind and be convinced that I am helping in the way I want to help.
Let me explain how I understand flexibility with practical examples.
- It’s going for a walk on a Friday afternoon, picking up a call from your colleague and going home earlier than planned because you have to remove some products from the online store.
- It's helping to restructure your neighbours' office by moving boxes and furniture. It’s coaching in a football match on a Sunday for the club you work for because the coach of that team can’t make it.
- It's talking to a colleague over coffee and helping them make a presentation right afterwards because they need it for that week.
- It’s coaching in a football match on a Sunday for the club you work for because the coach of that team can’t make it.
- It’s working in a company doing marketing and at the same time going to the warehouse if necessary to move pallets and help to dispatch orders.
These are all real and recent examples.
Flexibility is also being prepared for everything so that I am able to give accurate and personalized solutions depending on the situation. It’s about having in mind that jobs and projects evolve and therefore we have to adapt to these changes. We have to be open to constantly look for more information or extra resources to give the best solutions adapted to each situation.
When you believe in a company, project or you really want to help one person, you do not mind dedicating more of your time or effort. That is also flexibility. You are committed to the project and you know it will be worth it. Because by being flexible, you are demonstrating how professional you are, something of great value which will stay with you in the long term.
If you have come to this post expecting to find the already tired debate of work flexibility (working from home vs office, weeks of 4 working days, etc.) I expressed my opinion about this in another article.