August is a special month where some countries in Asia gained their independence and celebrated victories. India, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia are among countries commemorating Independence and National Days this month. As the pandemic enters its second year, independence is getting redefined in a heavily-remote workplace situation. While there is a sense of freedom in remote working, to what extent does it offer job autonomy for employees?
Either as an employee or employer, are you celebrating Independence Day not just on special occasions, but on a daily basis? Beyond observing the special day by decorating office layouts and arranging fun activities, organizations can reflect on Independence Day to liberate their workforce from domination and grant actual freedom every day. After all, job autonomy boosts employee productivity, makes them happy, and keeps them on the job longer; it is simply the best thing employers can do.
The ability, authority, or right to do, speak, or think anything one wishes without being restrained or controlled is known as freedom. Freedom is both liberating and empowering. It promotes an inspiring, engaging, and productive company culture. Employees who are given the freedom to pursue their goals in a flexible manner are more productive, engaged, and enthusiastic about their jobs. It is time for modern workplaces to leave the typical hierarchical, inflexible, and rule-bound settings. As the world is changing, organizations must be open, flexible, and adaptable so that true independence is felt in all aspects of the workplace as an essential part of the company culture.
Freedom to Work from Anywhere
Progressive companies provide employees with the freedom and flexibility to work from wherever convenient by having remote working policies in place. For many talents today, working from the office can get so exhausting that their cubicles start to feel like a prison. Living the spirit of Independence Day can start from as small as giving employees freedom to set their own setting of work. After all, the goal is to get the job done, which means that employees should no longer be forced to work from a fixed location all the time. As long as tasks and deadlines are met, there should be no problem in letting employees take their work somewhere else other than the office.
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Freedom to Learn
To foster a culture of development and innovation, it is essential to provide employees with the freedom to be imperfect, make mistakes, and learn from them. Accepting and embracing setbacks as stepping stones to future achievement leads to overall independence without fear of failure. It is the employer’s responsibility to encourage their workers to explore new things; reward them when they succeed, and appreciate them for attempting but failing. In an interview, Adobe’s SVP of Customer and Employee Experience shared how an organization can recognize Research and development achievers, reward employees for sharing disruptive ideas, and then fund them to explore those ideas.
Freedom to Voice Out Opinions
Commitment to facilitate employee growth begins with granting them independence and equal rights to speak up. Empowering employees and giving them the chance to make decisions in their areas of expertise fosters a culture in which they can question, debate, and exchange ideas. Such open work culture has a significant impact on their professional development. Toxic seniority culture is an outdated practice that mongers fear for employees, shadowing them with the risk of firing if they ever speak up for injustice. Regardless of their positions in a company, employees should feel safe in voicing out opinions, especially if any injustice or harassment ever happens. Allowing them the freedom to express their opinions and thoughts, offer input, and share insights can improve morale and workplace inclusivity.
Freedom from Prejudice
Accepting multiculturalism and promoting inclusion allows employees to perform to their full potential. It reassures them that their evaluation will be premised on their ability, with no regard for gender, age, or other factors. Although inclusion in terms of gender has improved over the years, inequality still persists as women still face barriers at work. The practice of ageism that discriminates against older employees still occurs and needs to be addressed as well. Leaders should note that respect is essential for fostering prejudice-free environments and opening the door to a workplace that advocates inclusion.
Workplace freedom is liberating, powerful, and resulting in a positive work environment. True independence in the workplace involves freedom of ideas, expression, and action combined with ethical and moral limitations. All of this should be accompanied by a knowledge of the responsibilities that will follow. Right now is the best time to celebrate Independence Day by creating a workplace that embodies the true spirit of independence in all dimensions.
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