Functional Flexibility is a concept in companies where employees can work in different functions or can be deployed purposely to various functions with different roles and responsibilities. This can be accomplished by making the employees multi-skilled so that they can perform various types of tasks whenever required.
There are no fixed or same set of tasks which employees have to perform regularly.
Their tasks or functional areas can change depending upon requirement and conditions, for example, if a project has short deadline. This approach is cost saving to the companies because employees are multi-skilled, so they can be used whenever more workforce is required in a particular functional area.
Why companies are moving towards functional flexibility:
Demography: Due to increase in life expectancy rate and age limit for retirement, employees work for longer time in the companies. If they are doing same kind of job, it can lead to functional redundancy. For efficient use of man power, they can be deployed to various functions.
Technology: Due to changes in technology, the manual efforts which were required in jobs had reduced. Now the work is done faster with more creativity. To stay competitive, companies try to as flexible as they can and have more creative work force. This makes the functional flexibility important in the companies.
Economy: If a person can do more than one type of work, it is more economic for a company as that person can be deployed in any of the jobs whenever required. Functional flexibility saves cost to the company and gives long term benefits.
Example of functional flexibility:
Suppose a person named as John is working in function X (per se, Recruitment/Performance management/ Employee engagement etc.) and he knows the work of function Y also. A project has recently come up for function Y and man power is less over there. In function X, man power is abundant. Then instead of hiring anyone new for function Y, John will be deployed to work in function Y till the completion of work.