Recent research shows that 1 in 7 UK workers now work from home, and that this number has doubled over the last decade. Bearing these statistics in mind, it’s hard to deny that the end of the usual 9-5 day is starting to feel ever more imminent. Add to that the studies suggesting that flexible working makes employees more productive, and it’s not hard to see why more and more businesses are getting on board with this freer way of working.
Having said that, it can still feel like a daunting concept for many employers, who may not be 100% sure if offering things like flexible hours and working from home days will work for their business. If this sounds like you, read on to find out in more detail how flexible modes of working could be great for your company in the long run.
You’ll save more than a bit of money
One way a lot of businesses are incorporating flexible working into their company culture is through implementing a hot desking system, which not only encourages staff to work from home, but means a portion of them actually have to through the week. This usually involves downsizing to an office that’s only big enough to house a percentage of staff at any one time, meaning a set number of employees must work remotely each day – hence baking in a strong ethos of trust and fluidity into the business.
A natural by-product of this is that you’ll save a significant amount of money on rent and utility bills – not to mention other costs like any food and drinks provided for staff, and even computers if staff who work from home use their own equipment. This is a serious pull for a lot of business owners, with one report showing that those who had introduced hot desking into their company were making savings of a huge 30%. And it doesn’t have to end there – if you really want to embrace this way of working you could ditch the traditional office altogether and opt to use a coworking space instead, saving even more money over time.
You’ll attract and retain top talent
In a world where more and more focus is being put on quality of life and mental wellbeing, it’s crucial for employers to stay relevant and competitive in the job market. It follows, then, that the more companies there are that are willing to offer fully flexible working, the more this will come to be viewed as a must-have rather than a nice-to-have. In other words, if a prospective employee is to choose between a company that lets them work from home as and when they please, and one that doesn’t, there’s going to be a clear winner.
You’ll increase your teams’ productivity
There’s a lot of evidence out there to show that allowing staff to work from home not only results in them taking fewer sick days, but actively increases their productivity too. From less background noise to feeling comfier and better rested, taking time away from the office brings many benefits that can all aid concentration and a higher quality of work. Of course, there’s always the fear that staff will end up ‘dossing’ – but research shows this is rarely the case and that instilling feelings of trust into your workforce in this way is likely to do much more good than harm.
You’ll be able to work in different time zones
One benefit that’s often overlooked when it comes to offering fully flexible and remote working to staff is that of the increased ability to keep your business open around the clock. The term ‘digital nomad’ is officially a thing, meaning – in a nutshell – that the number of mobile workers is drastically on the rise. Giving your staff the freedom to travel while working or even to move abroad while staying employed by you allows you to operate in different time zones around the world – all at zero extra cost.
You’ll be helping to save the planet
Last, but certainly not least, is the positive impact you’ll have on the environment when you allow your staff to cut their weekly commute (not forgetting the reduced output of things like air-con with lesser employees in your office). If your company is big on being green, this is one sure fire way to drive that point home in everything from your brand messaging and values to the way you sell your company to top talent.
Flexible working can mean many things, but it all boils down to one key principle – for employers to trust their staff by giving them much more autonomy and, in turn, to reap the rewards of a happier, more motivated workforce.
Giving your staff the freedom to work in a way that suits them not only puts you in their good books, it saves you the hassle of micro-managing and clock-watching too. That means more time to put towards making sure your business thrives and that its output of work is as exceptional as it can be. Sounding pretty good now, isn’t it?