Editor’s note: Patty Yan is the EMEA product marketing manager for RingCentral Office, a provider of cloud communications solutions.

During a survey of 1,583 professionals by the Harvard Business Review, 96% of respondents said they need more flexibility in their work schedules. However, only 47% of the respondents have access to the flexibility they want.

The need for workplace flexibility is now more apparent than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a series of extended lockdowns, culminating in months of us all staying home. The lockdowns had many people working remotely – and quite effectively too.

The pivot to remote work shows that humans can be productive anywhere with the right resources. It has also come with an increase in the clamor for workplace flexibility as we make the shift back to in-person work.

Employees want to have a healthy work-life balance. Most employees no longer believe in the workaholic lifestyle and they appreciate employers who recognize that. Many workers in the U.S. consider flexibility an essential factor when looking at job offers.

As a business owner, it’s now more straightforward than ever before to provide workers with the flexibility they want. For instance, thanks to advances in technology, you can automate tasks and reduce an employee's workload.

Mangers sometimes confuse flexibility with freedom, thereby allowing room for complacency. While flexibility includes some level of freedom, it's more about adaptability to changing circumstances. Flexibility is your willingness and ability to adapt to changing situations on the job. On the part of the organization, this adaptation must happen without putting employees in uncomfortable positions.

Note that, for an organization, flexibility involves prioritizing the well-being of employees over policies. You’ll take into account that employees also have a personal life outside of their job...