The business world is certainly a different place compared to what it looked like maybe ten years ago.
Advancements in technology have led to more efficient ways of working.
This allows businesses to become more responsive and proactive to both internal and external challenges.
Whilst more employees are working longer hours than they were two years ago, only 10% think they are more productive.
This is where flexible working has stepped in and revolutionised the way we see the working day.
The concept of flexible working is a simple:
- Employees can now request the right to work from home
- Work staggered hours
- Operate in different locations
- Use flexitime or transfer to a part time contract.
Whilst some workers do prefer the traditional office environment, 44% of respondents in a 2014 Dell survey claimed that having access to the latest technologies and BYOB policies were a crucial element in their working lives.
People often own several digital devices – smartphone, tablet, laptop – technology has enabled a new outlook on work.
We decided to look at the ways in which flexible working actually improves workforces around the nation and increases productivity.
READY FOR CHANGE
The core reasons to implement flexible working policies surround the idea that businesses need to be change-ready, possessing the ability to anticipate new methods and adapt quickly.
This ‘smart working’ philosophy puts businesses in a position of control being that issues can be resolved remotely and information can be shared globally.
To achieve agility, your business must be able to operate outside of a stagnant office.
By responding to digital trends and having the structural capacity to move fast will increase productivity in the sense that you’re providing staff with the technology they desire and need.
OUT OF HOURS
Unsurprisingly, just under half of all employees (47%) want more control over their work patterns, with the CIPD speculating that this may derive from the fact that working extra hours alongside fixed contracts has become the ‘unwritten norm’.
Whilst many cite they do so to meet customer demand, 14% do it to coincide with their preferred pace of working.
This presents employers with a nice opportunity to leverage the fact that 45% of employees engage in work matters outside of their core hours.
Whether it’s subconsciously checking emails or finishing an urgent task in the comfort of their own home, people are servicing their organisation when it’s not necessarily required – which is brilliant news for business.
Offering flexible working solutions creates a culture where your staff are happy to associate work with private lives, which in turn boosts productivity
Research has shown that advanced technologies in the workplace foster a more unified, transparent and collaborative culture.
Collaboration between your workforce is crucial for effective communication and organisational efficiency to thrive, creating a more enjoyable company culture to inspire motivation.
The improvements in regards to a better work-life balance and time management generally reduce stress levels, so it’s interesting to find out that 56% of employers saw a reduction in absenteeism after adopting flexible working practices.
Having a business culture that enjoys turning up to work is something not many businesses can report.
Empowering employees with a flexible approach to working is proven to drive down operational costs.
A YouGov poll conducted in 2013 found that flexible working can save British businesses £34bn a year.
If your business has employees who operate largely out of the office, you can save money on office space, equipment and energy costs, all whilst contributing to the environment by reducing the carbon footprint of your workforce.
The lack of commute time for employees that work from home is a real productivity booster being that they can begin work without having endured stress propelled by train delays or traffic jams.
Flexible working is fast becoming an expected policy that people are actively looking for in a new job, so if you’re offering it, the talent will come to you.
This presents another financial remuneration as there’s cash to be saved in staff retention.
Minimising the turnover respectively reduces the need for your business to provide training for new starters and will, rightly so, enhance your brand reputation as a stable, reputable employer.
It’s evident that flexible working isn’t just an ‘employee perk’.
Businesses that implement such practices benefit massively too, making it a win-win scenario for both staff and employer.
To see how agility can transform your business into a proactive, collaborative machine, dowload our guide ‘Enabling Oranisational Agility’ HERE