Adaptability and Flexibility at the workplace-

  • By
  • October 6, 2021
  • Soft Skill

Personal skills, workplace skills, and academically grounded technical skills are all part of the skills framework. This framework is comprised of 17 critical elements that must be understood, applied, and mastered in order to launch and sustain your career.


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It’s easy to imagine people like Walt Disney when you think of success. He was a big hit, with over 81 feature films and hundreds of short films to his credit. He won over 950 awards, including 48 Academy Awards, and founded the California Institute of the Arts, as well as building Disneyland. But did you know that before he was successful, he went through a lot of trials and tribulations? After numerous failures, he had to adapt and be flexible to new ideas.

With rapid changes in technology, diversity, and society, employers are looking for employees who can adapt.

Employees who are open to new ideas, flexible enough to work through difficult situations, and generally able to cope when things don’t go as planned are required by employers. This important component is linked to resourcefulness and resilience. A successful employee can perform in any situation or circumstance and has the mindset to evaluate what is going on and adjust with determination and patience, seeing change as an opportunity to grow.

In the end, our own success is determined not only by luck but also by our ability to learn from our mistakes and adapt to change, even in the most trying of circumstances. Just like the other successful people on this planet.



What are the characteristics of adaptability and flexibility?



“The ability to adapt(adjust) or be adapted (be adjusted) in response to changing circumstances.”



“Capacity to bend without breaking.”


These are two concepts that are very similar and are frequently used interchangeably or in combination in job descriptions. It could include how responsive you are to new information, changing conditions or circumstances, your commitment to making continuous improvements in systems, processes, or ways of working, and how well you handle or utilize uncertain situations in the workplace.


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Why are they preferred by employers?


In the workplace, the ability to cope with change, or to respond well to change, is crucial. Situations, circumstances, and workplaces can change quickly, and individuals, and thus organizations, who are unable to adapt to these changes quickly risk falling behind.

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Examples of how to develop or demonstrate adaptability and flexibility-



  1. Working part-time while studying and possibly taking on last-minute shifts is an option.
  2. Independent travel abroad or a year abroad
  3. Taking on new responsibilities and roles.
  4. Studying while juggling personal obligations is a difficult task.
  5. From home to university is a big transition.


On the job or through work experience, becoming a vital part of a company (e.g. fitting in with the team and forming working relationships, accommodating a different set of expectations, following expected conventions, suggesting and implementing improvements).


The Importance of Flexibility in the Workplace: 


When we talk about the word “flexible” at work and the importance of flexibility, there are a number of other factors to consider.


  1. Willing to go with the flow: 


This attitude indicates that either the employer or the employee is willing to take a chance and go with the flow. Their minds are prepared to adapt to the changes that are about to occur and to face the challenges that lie ahead. They adapt quickly to new situations.


  1. Not rigid in their thinking: 


People who are flexible can be approached easily because they will accept and implement changes. They are not adamant about accepting the viewpoints. Having workplace flexibility skills allows you to push through inevitable changes.


  1. Adapting to situations: 


These people are able to quickly adapt to any situation they find themselves in. They know what to do and how to bring alterations. When new projects are assigned to them, they can be trusted.


It’s pointless to resist change because it will only add to your stress. Such employees are willing to take on tasks that are not related to their original job description.


  1. Effective problem-solving skills:


These people appear to be effective at finding solutions to problems because they have been in many situations that have forced them to make changes in their system or attitude. In fact, they are aware of what to look for in the event of a problem.


  1. Negotiation skills:


Having flexible team members would make negotiating much easier. Their perspective on the subject of negotiation is readily identifiable. They appear to know which portfolios to consider in order to make that negotiation go as smoothly as possible.


  1. Work under extreme pressure: 


There may be times when the company is underperforming and the payroll needs to be reduced. These individuals come to the rescue because they are capable of handling stress or a heavy workload. Their skills may not be a good fit, but they have shown a willingness to take on additional responsibilities.


  1. Listening ability: 


Being more open to change is a sign that a person can listen to other points of view. Listening is an important aspect of communication. With a flexible attitude, a person is willing to listen to other points of view.


  1. Communication skills: 


As changes force people to be flexible, they learn how to communicate. They are so skilled at this art that no one can compete with them.


Due to their extensive experience in a variety of fields, such individuals have a tremendous amount of exposure, which allows them to bring in more knowledge, which is then converted into communication.


  1. Recognizing the viewpoints of others: 


People in this category are prone to differing viewpoints and opinions. They recognize that being able to understand the perspectives of others is a sign of acceptance in order to accommodate the necessary change. As a result, it is a positive attitude to acknowledge others.


  1. Allows for expansion:


It is well known that employees who adopt or are flexible to change have a higher chance of success. Their willingness to learn new concepts and adopt new trends that are outside of their skillset and experience results in numerous changes within the company and, as a result, the company’s success. Because they embrace change, these employees are always regarded as valuable assets.


  1. Learning ability: 


Changes introduce new concepts that must be learned. The employee would be motivated to learn if he or she had this attitude of flexibility in the workplace.

Learning is not difficult for them because their minds are open to absorb changes. They take the initiative to find new ways to learn new concepts and master them.


  1. Balancing work and family life: 


Gone are the days when an employee could unwind with their family after a long day at work. They can now take care of their families as well if they understand how to embrace technological advancements and use them to balance their work and personal lives. The delicate balance between work and family life is maintained.


  1. More productive: 


Having a flexible attitude allows a person to handle tasks with ease because they learn techniques quickly, allowing them to be more productive.

Having this mindset opens up more doors for you to explore other possibilities. When a person is exposed to technology, he or she becomes more productive.


  1. Optimistic: 

Flexible people are in high demand in the workplace because they never say no to an opportunity. They blend in well with the group, which indicates that they have a positive outlook. The upbeat attitude is admired.

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  1. Cultural diversity is valued: 


With the globalization of many businesses, there is a cross-pollination of cultures with a wide range of interests. Employers who are willing to accommodate a diverse culture are prepared to identify and address the needs of employees.

The interaction is carefully monitored. It’s crucial to manage diversity at work.


  1. Allow for job rotation: 


Employers with a flexible approach encourage such people to rotate jobs in order to provide opportunities for job enrichment. Not only are skills improved, but also the ability to take on supervisory roles is demonstrated.


Job rotation allows employees to move from one job to another on a regular basis, increasing their value to their current and future employers.


  1. Able to transcend: 


A person’s willingness to transcend is what qualifies them as flexible. Individuals who stick to their old ways of working will not be able to progress.


Automation can be used to complete routine tasks or a predetermined set of tasks. Individual input is required for value-added tasks like problem-solving.


The Importance of Adaptability in the Workplace:


Adaptability, a core emotional intelligence quality, is one of the skills that employers are looking for. Among other important skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, work ethics, and principles, it is ranked first.

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  1. Fit the Culture: 


An employer wants to know if the candidate would be a good fit for the company’s culture and if they would be able to anticipate, respond to, and implement changes on a daily basis. Every business has its own work and corporate culture, which is critical to its success.


When the hiring process begins, the employer considers not only the candidate’s qualifications and experience but also whether he or she will fit into the company’s culture.


  1. Make or break deal: 


Employers look for adaptability, and if you don’t have it, you could end up losing the job. So, even if a candidate has good experience and skillsets, companies will not be interested in them if they don’t show signs of adaptability to their culture or are unwilling to venture outside their comfort zone.


As a result, it can be seen that a company would not mind hiring someone who is willing to fit into their culture, even if their skills are insufficient. What they mean is that skills can only be learned through training, whereas adaptability is a part of a person’s inborn nature.


  1. Job Requirement: 


When applying for management positions, adaptability is more important. Because managers are considered leaders, they must lead their teams and show them how to adapt to the company’s culture. As one’s seniority rises, so does the expectation of conforming to the company’s culture.


When it comes to selecting senior management, the hiring process is even more strict or stringent. As a result, great care is taken to ensure that no mistakes are made.

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  1. Highly valued: 


People in this category are highly valued because they adapt to the demands of job rotation, working under undue pressure, or taking on new assignments. Furthermore, they have the ability to

  1. Make decisions in times of crisis or emergency
  2. Can handle a variety of work situations
  3. Consider new methods for completing a task while keeping other people’s opinions in mind.
  4. Adaptable to their surroundings on a physical level
  5. Positivity is contagious, and people who are positive in nature have faith in the work they do.
  6. Maintain your composure and focus on the task at hand when confronted with a stressful situation.
  7. Innovative in problem-solving
  8. Consider and value the cultural backgrounds of others.


Adaptability and Flexibility Development Tips:



  1. Listen in to see what’s going on.
  2. Experiment with various scenarios.
  3. Continue to listen.
  4. Emotional intelligence should only be used by employees who are naturally flexible.
  5. Employees who are extremely well-organized
  6. Think about the big picture.
  7. Take into account a diverse range of viewpoints.
  8. Make your life more balanced.
  9. Simply put, stop waiting for the right time and circumstance.

Katake, Akshaya

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