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What's What in the Workplace: Comparing Terms

Flexible work vs. Flexible workplace


Though often talked about in tandem, flexible work and a flexible workplace (often called a flexible work environment) are two unique phenomena of modern work. 

Flexible work is a massive umbrella term used to address anything that falls outside the bounds of a strict 9-5 job conducted in a uniform workplace. 

Flexible work can refer to how work is completed as well as where and when. This means working remotely, mobility programs, asynchronous communication, activity-based working and any number of the diverse ways people have come to work since technology allowed for more fluid and agile work days falls under the term “flexible work”. 

A flexible workplace, on the other hand. Speaks specifically to the physical workplace and how work is completed within it’s four walls. Typically, flexible workplaces do not have rows of cubicles or bench desks. Instead, these offices offer a variety of ways employees can work throughout their workday. A flexible workplace also typically has a specific culture or even policies written that outline how the flexible workplace is meant to be interacted with. These behavioral guidelines can include flexible work hours or specific etiquette for how to reserve and share flexible desks, for example. 

If flexible work is a rectangle, a flexible workplace is a square. A flexible workplace is a type of flexible work but flexible work does not equate to a flexible workplace.

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