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What is the Workplace? How Flexible Work is Redefining the Employee Experience

BY: Hanna Riley // Marketing Manager • WELCOA

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the workplace as, “a place (such as a shop or factory) where work is done.” That definition is resonating less and less with the modern workforce as the “place where work is done” can be virtually anywhere now.

With modern challenges arise modern solutions, and for many organizations, flexible, remote work has been the solution to the challenges that came to light during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only has it been a solution to a myriad of challenges, but it’s also become a superpower for many companies.

The concept that work doesn’t always have to take place in one physical workplace, from the hours of 9 AM – 5 PM has unlocked the potential for organizations and individuals alike to improve and transform the way work is done and experienced.

Here are some key ways flexible and remote work is reinventing the employee experience and the future of the ‘workplace’.

Unlocking Potential

Flexible and remote work shifts the power dynamic between employee and employer, giving the employee more freedom over how, when, and where work gets done that best suits their well-being and work style. This freedom opens up the potential for more adaptability, more time in deep focus, less time spent in commute, fewer distractions, increased efficiency, and overall more time spent doing work.

Improving Business Outcomes


According to a survey conducted by Airtasker in 2020, on average, remote employees spent more time getting things done. While office workers reported an average of 37 minutes each workday not getting work done (outside of lunch and standard breaks), remote employees only lost 27 minutes of each workday to distractions. While remote workers did take more time for official breaks than office employees, evidence shows that taking breaks actually leads to higher rates of productivity.

Employee Turnover

Flexible and remote work environments are highly desirable job elements for employees. A survey conducted by Qualtrics found that 55% of respondents said more flexibility over work hours and schedules would influence them to stay at a company longer. When employees are engaged and given the freedom to do their best work, they might just spend less time job-hunting for better opportunities.

Improving Health Outcomes

The same survey conducted by Qualtrics found that flexible work is one of the top things employees said would improve their mental health at work.

Another study found that remote employees were healthier in terms of exercise. On average, they clocked in two hours and 44 minutes of exercise each week, which was 25 more minutes each week than in-office workers.

The American Psychological Association says the workplace is one of the leading sources of stress in the U.S. Flexible and remote work can alleviate some of the stress associated with the traditional workday.

Cost Savings

The cost of heating and cooling an unoccupied workspace is obviously much lower than maintaining the perfect climate for a building full of workers. There is also much less wear and tear on your infrastructure. If your company decides to transition to a permanent remote-work arrangement, you may be able to eliminate or downgrade your real estate costs altogether.

Facilitating Healthy Culture

Organizations that allow for flexible and remote work are demonstrating to their employees that their well-being is a priority. And ideally, your work model isn’t a standalone strategy, but rather a piece of a greater strategy to design the entire work experience around well-being.

Integrating well-being into the foundation and fabric of workplaces is the link to addressing the concerns of today while preparing for the changes of tomorrow.

A recent study conducted by WELCOA and Returns on Wellbeing Institute found that award-winning companies take a whole-person approach, prioritize workplace culture, have strong CEO leadership for well-being initiatives, and followed six best practices to do so.

Fostering the Future of Work

The reality is, flexible and remote work is here to stay. We understand it can feel daunting to peer through the looking glass at the possibilities for the future of work, but in order to stay grounded and strategic, it’s essential to have a strategy in place that is future-focused while allowing for adaptability.

WELCOA has created a proven methodology that does just that. Each year thousands of businesses and health leaders deploy WELCOA protocols, strategies, and approaches with the intent of creating healthier cultures, improving employee health and well-being, and staying aligned with the future of work.

Looking for More?

We have a 10-module toolkit to help you navigate remote work issues including building strong communication, relationship, and infrastructure.

We’re here to support your success and the future of work. Access to the WELCOA Platform will unlock everything you need to redefine the way your employees experience the workplace and sustain that change for the long haul.

Hanna Riley
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Hanna Riley // Marketing Manager • WELCOA
Hanna brings a unique perspective to WELCOA through her eclectic history in wellness, healthcare, personal training, human resources and marketing. She has been in the shoes of WELCOA’s members and understands the challenges that they face. Hanna holds a BS in Kinesiology and Health Promotion. Her greatest passion is for the whole world to be well, and to help others rise through sharing stories, and fostering connection.