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FRESH FRIDAYS: Why flexibility is fundamental in business

Our intern, Zoe Forbes-Pyfrom, took on the task of writing all about the importance of flexibility and adaptability in business..

We all like to kid ourselves into thinking that we live our lives in the moment and that we don’t depend on a structured routine to feel fulfilled. But deep down everyone (to some extent) loves a bit of predictability from one day to the next – it’s somewhat reassuring, even comforting.

In business, however, it’s time to be impulsive …  As we experience technological  trends moving faster than ever before, ‘flexibility’ and ‘adaptability’ have become crucial qualities in the workplace. So much so, they’re now buzzwords in many a recruitment process.

Let’s take a look at 4 reasons why they’re so sought-after…

1) Business survival

‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.’ – Charles Darwin

Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection argues that the chances of survival are increased through the adaption of the individual to their environment. So if we apply this to the world of work the survival of a business or career is increased by your ability to adapt to a fast paced, digital environment.

2) The ‘breaking point'

Flexibility is ‘The quality of bending easily without breaking’ (Oxford Dictionary).

If you or your business don’t adapt to a changing environment, you could be edging closer to your ‘breaking point’.  A great example of this is Borders Booksellers, who failed to adapt to the digital age… until 2008 they were still stuck in the era of CDs and DVDs, even without a website. This gave way to massive debts, and the eventual liquidation of the entire company.

3) Embracing change and opportunity

Adaptability is ‘The quality of being able to adjust to new conditions’ (Oxford Dictionary).

Being adaptable will allow you embrace changes at work - such as new management and technological innovation, increasing the success-rate of transformation in the workplace.

4) Getting ahead of the game

Digitalisation has meant that we’re all used to speedy worldwide communication via one simple click. This accelerated flow of information has meant that you might need to respond faster to situations you might find yourself in.

By harnessing the qualities of flexibility and adaptability in the workplace, you can ride the wave of transformation and change. In turn, this opens up possibilities for innovation – essential both for business survival and business success.