Businesses that neglect flexibility will be left behind

2715583000_d3d0c07a8f_oFlexible working arrangements are a crucial element of the future workplace and one that business leaders neglect at their peril.

That’s according to research undertaken by Chess Media Group. It polled over 500 workers around the world who use enterprise collaboration technologies and identified three important trends in the modern workplace: collaboration; bring your own device (BYOD); and the rise of flexible working.

Flexible work arrangements are no longer the exception, the report said, but the rule. It found that 81% of workers work in organisations that offer flexible working and 87% of them use the arrangements. The most common form of flexible working is mobile working (77%) followed by varying the start and end times of the working day (64%) and compressed working hours (24%).

Almost all workers (90%) believe employers that offer flexible working are more attractive than those that don’t so businesses should advertise their flexibility. “Workers will first pursue employment opportunities with organizations that will allow them to achieve a balance between work and personal pursuits, before those that do not offer the same flexibility,” said the report.

There is a shift, it added, in people’s attitude to work. Instead of sacrificing personal happiness for professional goals, workers now believe they can achieve both professional success and personal happiness through work. This should change businesses’ approach – if employees are allowed to achieve a balance of work and home life, “increased worker productivity and efficiency, increased worker happiness, and improved organizational culture and morale” will be the result.

Of those surveyed, 85% said flexible working improved their productivity and efficiency, 80% said it improved the balance of their work and family life, and 77% pointed to increased job satisfaction. Happiness (68%), reduced stress (59%), greater commitment (49%), improved morale (48%), reduced absenteeism (44%) and retention of staff (41%) were also named as benefits.

The report said employers should make sure their staff have access to the collaborative tools and technologies they need to be productive when working flexibly. In addition it said companies need clear HR policies about how workers should track their hours.

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Categories: International, News, Trends

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