With the age of connectivity upon us, the world of work is changing faster than ever before. In the past workers were unavoidably shackled to a 9-5 lifestyle in a bricks and mortar office through necessity rather than choice.
Now technology is enabling the collaboration and sharing of content with anyone, whenever and wherever’s needed. Cloud technology and the birth of communication tools such as Google Hangouts, Skype and Facetime mean that employees can be anywhere in the world and still be in ‘the office’.
Since the 30th June 2014 every employee in the UK has the right to request flexible working. So with the future already here it’s essential that companies don’t fall behind the pack. Offering flexible working options could be one of the best things that your company could do today and right now I’m going to explain why.
As the labour market demographic changes so too are the needs and desires of the workforce. For non-millennials (those born before 1980) control over work, development opportunities and pay are the key drivers for work satisfaction. Millennials on the other hand (born after 1980) have different requirements.
As millennials invariably work with less job security; retire later and do so with or without a pension, their attitudes to work have changed significantly.
PWC’s recent global generational study found that millennial employees are unconvinced that excessive work demands are worth the sacrifices to their personal life. Millennials value work/life balance and they place a high priority on workplace culture. Flexibility in where they work and how much they work is a key driver in maintaining millennial satisfaction ……. which leads on nicely to our next point.
An employee survey carried out for CIPD by Kingston University/Ipsos MORI found that “workers on flexible contracts tend to be more emotionally engaged, more satisfied with their work, more likely to speak positively about their organisation and less likely to quit.” A happy workforce is key to retaining staff and offering flexible working helps employees to strike a happy work-life balance whilst ensuring that out of work factors such as children or caring for family members doesn’t get in the way of work commitments.
Many time and motion studies have shown a causal link between productivity and flexible working. The 9-5 shift and the need to commute can negatively impact on both a workers time and energy. Being able to manage one’s own time; working when inspired or unencumbered with other tasks can greatly improve an employee’s efficiency and lead to higher work-outputs as well as improving their quality of work.
In the global business place the market never stops. Somewhere in the world there is always someone looking to do business and offering flexible working can help your workforce to meet your customers’ needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Can you afford to miss out on any business opportunities due to the 9-5 working day?
Offering flexible working in the form of homeworking can greatly help to reduce property and energy costs. Whilst there may be an initial start-up cost to setting up working from home solutions, over a short space of time the benefits will far outweigh the initial outlay cost. Imagine the savings you could make if the majority of your workforce could work from home. That could mean the difference between a good business and a great business.
The above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits that your business can enjoy from offering flexible working options. As technological advancements continue to make flexible working an ever more attractive option and the demand from workers increases, there has never been a better time to consider flexible working options.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Capability Jane helps innovative and flexible organisations source talented executives on a flexible, part-time or job share basis and access a more diverse pool of candidates.
Contact us on 0845 604 1916 for more information about how we can help your business flourish.
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