The right or condition of self-government. The capacity of an agent to act in accordance with objective morality rather than under the influence of desires.
Examples of Workplace Autonomy
To help you better understand workplace autonomy and what it actually involves (vs. what it may not involve), let's take a look at some examples.
Workplace Autonomy Example #1
You're a front-end developer and your team is working on a new project. The project manager assigns the tasks and you are given a deadline. But instead of telling you how to do your job, she trusts that you will use your expertise and experience to get the job done. She may give you some guidelines, but ultimately it's up to you to decide how you want to complete the task.
Workplace Autonomy Example #2
You're a designer on a remote team. Your team is working on a new website design and you are in charge of the home page. The project manager sends you the wireframes and outlines the goals for the home page. But instead of telling you what elements to use and where to put them, she trusts that you will use your creativity and expertise to come up with a design that meets the goals.
Workplace Autonomy Example #3
You're a salesperson working from home. Your team's goal is to increase sales by X% this quarter. You are given a list of leads and it's up to you to decide how you want to follow up with them. You may decide to call some, email others, and meet with a few in person. But ultimately it's up to you to decide how you want to approach each lead.
Workplace Autonomy Example #4
You're a marketing team lead and your SEO Manager is a mother of three. She is an excellent professional and always has the best ideas and the best implementation. However, a traditional 9 to 5 is incongruent to having to take care of her kids. Because her workplace offers employee autonomy, however, she is able to work in a hybrid setting, using async processes and tools to deliver the best work there is. She does this to the rhythm of her own beat, she is never late, and her deliveries yield great results.How to Enable Employee Autonomy in Hybrid Work Environment
The need to move to remote and hybrid work is now clearer than ever, with nearly three-quarters of the companies in the U.S. have implemented (or are planning to implement) some form of hybrid work. Together with this, businesses should also be ready to enable employee autonomy in a hybrid work environment, as this will help the entire team perform better, regardless of their work location (and even regardless of their work hours.)
Here are some tips on how you can empower employee autonomy in a hybrid work environment:
Define What Employee Autonomy Means for Your Company
The first step is to define what employee autonomy means for your company. What does it entail? What are the guidelines? What are the expectations? Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you can start creating the policies and processes that will enable it.
Encourage Employees to Take Ownership of Their Work
Encourage your employees to take ownership of their work. This means giving them the freedom to choose their own methods and approach, as well as the responsibility for the results. When employees feel like they are in control of their work, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated.
Offer Flexible Working Arrangements
One of the best ways to enable employee autonomy is to offer flexible working arrangements. This could include things like remote work, flexi-time, or compressed work weeks. When employees have the flexibility to choose when and where they work, they are more likely to be productive and engaged.
Encourage Collaboration and Communication
Encourage collaboration and communication among employees, regardless of their location. This could include things like regular video check-ins, group chat rooms, or even just an open-door policy. When employees feel like they are part of a team, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated.
Provide the Tools and Resources Employees Need
Make sure employees have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs, regardless of their location. This could include things like cloud-based software, hybrid work software, mobile apps, a good internet connection, async documentation tools, quality cameras and microphones, and so on. When employees have what they need to do their jobs, they are more likely to be productive and engaged.
Enable Feedback and Give Employees a Voice
Encourage feedback from employees and give them a voice in decisions that affect their work. This could include things like regular surveys, focus groups, or even just an open door policy. When employees feel like they are being heard, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated.
Celebrate Success and Give Employees Recognition
Make sure to celebrate success and give employees recognition for a job well done. This could include things like awards, bonuses, or even just a simple thank you. When employees feel appreciated, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated.
Act Now & Embrace Employee Autonomy at Work
68% of all people who have ever been micromanaged say it has decreased their morale. Enabling employee autonomy is the antidote to that -- and a way to keep everyone productive, engaged, and truly dedicated to the company mission. In a world that treasures flexibility as the most sought-after benefit, employee autonomy is the best way to build a healthy relationship between the employer and the employee.