The concept of a flexible workplace is not necessarily a new one, but the number of companies choosing to embrace it is. Innovations in technology have made the idea of a flexible workplace more and more attainable, with a bricks and mortar office no longer necessary to bring together a team.
Despite the many obvious benefits of adopting a more flexible workplace culture, many companies are still opting to keep in line with more traditional models. The reason isn’t that they don’t see the upside, but it is that many organisations do not trust their employees to get the job done at home. This feeling of mistrust is reflected by the ⅕ of employees who report feeling that they need to be in the office to be ‘seen’ working by their superiors.
The demographic of employees seeking flexible workplaces are often still viewed as mostly parents with young children, which is simply not the case. There is a diverse group of people, that is quickly growing, that are choosing to look for employers who offering more flexible workplace arrangements, and for a broad range of reasons.
Offering a flexible workplace makes for a more inclusive and considerate company culture, as it caters to people with disabilities or mobility concerns, family commitments and those living in rural areas. Such arrangements allow people to establish a work environment and schedule that meets both their needs and the needs of the company.
In addition to this, operating with flexibility has been known to attract high quality individuals and lifts any geographic restrictions placed upon the company when hiring. As a result companies who embrace this culture often operate with high performing teams, who are more productive as a result of better work-life balance.
If you’re company doesn’t want to go fully remote, but still offer some level of flexibility, the benefits can still be realised. Offering your employees the opportunity to work out of the office or adapt their work hours, whilst still maintaining a physical office space, encourages the same boost in productivity. This can also help lower the overhead costs of running the office, which in the long-term can be invested back into company development.
Looking at the bigger picture, the flexible working trend is doing good things for our society as whole. Remote workers results in less cars in the road, helping reduce the environmental impact of commuters and improve traffic conditions during peak hour. As well as this, flexible working arrangements offer older employees more choices when it comes to their involvement in the workforce. Studies show that older workers would be more open to taking on more hours and staying in the workforce for longer is more flexible options were available.
If getting on board with the flexible workplace trend is something that your company hasn’t considered, maybe they should. As technology progresses faster than we can keep up, the reality of what forms a workplace is quickly changing, and the results mean happier employees and a more productive team.