Have you ever considered flexible working or thought about implementing a scheme in your business?
As you are reading this you'll be aware that the majority of our time is spent in front of a computer screen or device, and with the modern technology available to us today there should be no reason why some of this work time can't take place at home or any other location.
Implementing flexible working in your business could lead to reductions in employee commute times, emissions, and will keep workers happy, boosting morale in offices everywhere. Let's face it, juggling heavy workloads, meetings, and our busy modern lifestyles can leave us feeling exhausted, and in a worst case scenario, anxious or depressed. This could all change with a shift in mindset.
From my personal experience, the flexibility of being able to choose where and when I work means that I can get the best work ethic out of myself and my team. Even when our work schedule is manic, we can step away from the office into a quiet place where distractions are at a minimum. People can't jump into the office and disrupt your workflow, which is something many of us experience. In fact, these moments away from the day-to-day grind of the office have also contributed to increased collaboration with my colleagues.
Still on the fence? Check out my top 5 reasons to consider flexible working and see if they can change how you think about working.
According to research by Randstad, the whole of the UK's commute costs its workforce £148 billion, this adds up to nearly £6,000 per worker. Flexible working can reduce this figure, But what would the outcome be? A better work-life balance, making it easier for employees to make the best use of their time, allowing them to become more efficient, productive and recognise that they have great employers who understand modern ways of working! This also has a cost-saving element to the employee, with the introduction of flexible working businesses can focus on occupancy, office space can be reduced and new ways of working can be implemented into day-to-day life.
#2 Increase morale & productivity
Starting your day working in a comfortable environment, be it home or in a local cafè makes people feel better. Without the distractions of the office and the rig morale of commuting every day, the flexible worker's morale will be boosted and the outcome is a happy, satisfied employee with greater job engagement. The days of overworked, unsatisfied staff can be combated with a fresh approach to work-life balance. Enabling your staff to be free to roam whilst they work will create a more productive and motivated workforce.
#3 Encouraging Collaboration
With new technologies comes new forms of collaboration and there is an ever growing opportunity to create these. This changes where we work from, how we work and who we work with. Not only does it open up the chance to collaborate with different people in different countries & time zones but the flexibility and advanced technology can lead to the increased use of virtual communication between staff, suppliers and customers. An example of this would be Office 365; collaborate on documents in real time, have virtual meetings in Skype for business & you don't have to be chained to an office to achieve your workload.
#4 Worklife Balance
More and more workers are willing to take a salary reduction to be able to work when and where they choose. Much like myself, people value their time with families and doing things that they enjoy. And with more to life than work, the time saved through flexible working can help employees spend it how they want. After all, a happy worker is a productive worker.
#5 Recruitment & retention
To attract and retain the best quality talent for your business you need to be flexible. Imagine missing out on a great candidate with all the right experience and attributes or losing valuable staff members because you were not able to offer some kind of flexible working schemes. Employees are looking for these new ways of working to fit in with their Worklife balance. You will also be able to attract talent from further afield, enhancing your opportunities of hiring good, quality people.
The nature of work is continually evolving under new agile approaches. Flexibility flips the long hours in the office on its head and offers a fluid workflow which increases collaboration and efficiency through the workforce. Management must trust their employees in these working conditions and should measure their performance on output, not input. At the end of the day results and a happy workforce are what people are looking for.
Looking at the positives above, there is one question that I have to ask...
Could flexible working be a win-win for your business?