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Being in an authoritative position means you essentially have no one who will judge you or criticise you. Instead, you have a team that works under your direction and respects your commands. Moreover, they make sure they don’t disappoint you in ways that may or may not even be related to work.

But what if all this authority and power messes with your head?

You may not be an arrogant, inflexible boss, but it’s quite likely that you’ve worked under some in your career. They ruin the essence of a workplace, such as an office environment, employee morale, as well as the company image. 

So, if you’re worried about turning into a rigid, stone-cold boss someday, here’s what you should know. In reality, being a flexible boss is always expected, yet the rarest characteristic. It doesn’t have anything to do with your position but has everything to do with being a human.

Myths about Workplace Flexibility

Let’s bust some myths surrounding tough bosses and abiding employees, shall we? Let’s begin.

Flexibility Leads to Non-Serious Employees

Remember that school teacher whose classes you loved to attend because they allowed you to ask them anything, any time? Teachers like those don’t churn out underachievers but active, interested students. A flexible boss is the same. 

They have expectations from employees, but they also know that coercing them through power doesn’t help. So, while being flexible, they also plan employee engagement strategies to get the most out of each employee without resorting to inflexible behaviour. Bottom line, let’s not confuse flexibility with lack of commitment.


Bosses Don’t Need Flexibility

As a boss, it’s a huge flaw if you think that you will never need to go easy on your own rules and conduct. Even though day-to-day workplace operations require a standard that everyone should meet, there are days and events and matters when you just have to twist things around a bit and make flexible arrangements for people. 

This doesn’t include just employees or management staff or any other subordinate, but it also includes bosses. Bosses may also have to call in sick, back off from a plan, revise their office hours, or deviate from their standard operations every once in a while.

In a nutshell, a flexible boss creates a flexible working environment that can help everyone work productively to fill each other’s voids whenever needed.


Inflexible Professionalism Gives an Impressive Image

Wrong! As a boss, you need to be careful about what impression your behaviour delivers on behalf of your company or organisation. When you are in a meeting, supervise an audit, attending a conference, or have new candidates lined up outside the interview room, every part of you is a personification of how you run your workplace. They need to see how and if they can easily adapt to the environment. 

They need to see a human connection. An inflexible, monstrous boss doesn’t come off as the kind of person you’d ever want to be around for long. Besides, you can positively build your organisation’s image through flexible, empathetic, yet firm working conduct.

Flexibility Kills Progress

This false assumption is another reason why bosses discourage any flexibility in the workplace. The truth is actually the total opposite. An inflexible work environment is responsible for toning down organisational progress. When the human brain works on the same routine day after day, it may achieve perfection and progress for a while, but it will ultimately need a change in the working environment. 

A lack of such environmental changes can have harmful effects on the general productivity of your office, which will result in a stagnant state of mind. This will detract you from your goals, and your employees will remain stuck in a meaningless rat race. On the other hand, showing some leniency in altering rules and conduct can allow their brains to get their dose of ‘something new, something different,’ which will keep them interested and innovative for longer.

Final Words

Being a boss, it can be hard to dissociate yourself from the stereotypical ‘bossy’ image. However, once you learn to adopt a more flexible attitude towards your workplace fellows, you’ll feel an instant rejuvenation in the air. 

A workplace where superiors learn to balance flexibility and compulsion is healthier, composed, and has more satisfied employees. So, while you may have to swallow your disappointment every now and then, a flexible mindset can actually help you achieve more in the long run!

Need some more tips on keeping your Building Service Engineers engaged and motivated? See our post on how to motivate your employees here.  


Danny Main

Author: Danny Main is a co-owner & Director at Responsum Global. He has over 15 years experience matching the top building services engineering talent with the best employers. He has over 100 written success stories. He’s active on LinkedIn, is a host on The Building Services Podcast, and a regular writer on The Building Services Blog. He loves football, talking properties and owns a cat that is bigger than his dog.


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