You might be surprised to hear this, but the main ingredient for flexible working success is: inflexibility.
To truly enjoy the benefits of flexible working, you have to loosen control, ditch the stagnant 9-5 working day and shake routine up a bit.
Where a lot of business owners or managers have worried about a decrease in productivity with employees being able to decide their own hours, allocate their workload and pick and choose where they work and when, the results over the last few years couldn’t be clearer.
Flexible working results in an increase in productivity, team morale, and can also retain staff! And to put business owners’ minds at rest, there have been several studies conducted to back this up.
According to Merchant Savvy, across the globe, working from home and remote locations has grown 159% since 2005, more than 11x faster than the rest of the workforce. Stanford University found that 13% of remote employees are more productive overall, and also take fewer breaks and sick days. Flex Jobs reported that 61% of people have left or have considered leaving a job due to a lack of work flexibility. In the same study, 76% of workers said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options and 77% of people say that working from home has improved their overall health and wellbeing.
Flexible working is more than just about letting your staff members have a bit more freedom when it comes to leaving early to pick up the kids, or letting them go to health-related appointments during working hours. Because at the end of the day, that just makes you a ‘flexible’ employer. And a human one at that.
Instead, flexible working is giving the power back to your employees to let them structure their working life the way that helps them achieve a great work/life balance. Because if you have happy and satisfied employees, your business will thrive.
If you’re worried about keeping an eye on the time employees are spending on projects – introduce time tracking software or tools that your staff members can use. This way you can get a general overview of what each member of staff is working on and how much time is being allocated to what projects.
Having a team calendar so you know when employees are ‘in the office’ or when they’re on holiday, running errands, on lunch, or otherwise will help make the communication seamless.
Using messaging tools to stay connected with regular video calls and keeping a line of communication open at all times can help remove any barriers to remote working.
Of course, there are plenty of industries and job roles that the above doesn’t apply to. But for those working in a field where the job can be done from anywhere at any time, flexible working should be incorporated into the working environment.
Businesses that have, have reported an increase in success all round due to the factors listed in this article.
Many businesses that have allowed employees to flexibly work from different locations have found office suites like ours particularly beneficial. They offer more control, can be a temporary lease and no-contract agreement. It goes hand in hand with the flexible working model.
And although 2020 saw the majority of the workforce shift to working from home, it has thrown up a lot of questions, especially for companies who don’t yet have flexible working models in place. A lot of employees are waking up to the fact that flexible working can do wonders for achieving a work/life balance and that perhaps flexible working is the future.