3 vital benefits of flexible working
Not least among cloud’s many advantages is the way it supports true mobile working, where employees can work on any device and use collaboration tools giving them the full capability of the office wherever they go.
With 67% of UK office workers citing mobile working as more important than a company car*, it’s an interesting insight into the changing expectations of the workforce and changing attitudes towards flexible working.
In a global survey of 8,000 employers and employees across ten countries, conducted by Vodafone, 61% of respondents said their company’s profits increased and 83% reported improved productivity as a result of introducing flexible working.
Fair to say, the UK workforce is keen. Government guidelines follow suit, urging businesses to consider flexible working requests, backed up by legislation passed in 2014. So what's holding some businesses back?
Concerns around security remain high on the agenda along with reservations about staff productivity when working away from the office. Flexible working is a natural companion to digital transformation, which means making that leap to the cloud, which can be a daunting prospect for businesses yet to make that vital move.
If you’re one of those businesses that needs a gentle push, here’s three reasons why, far from being a distraction, flexible working can have a positive impact on productivity, culture and the bottom line:
1. Boost employee engagement
Imagine a workplace with happier, less stressed staff who, as a result, show greater levels of motivation.
In a recent survey of more than 1,000 workers by Cascade HR, 47% said the introduction of flexible working hours would reduce stress, closely followed by 39% citing early finishes on a Friday.
Allowing employees to work from home even just one day a week, reduces stressful commuting time and improves productivity. British Telecom proved that productivity of flexible workers increased by 30%.
Plus, by creating a work culture that lends itself to a better work-life balance, employees feel valued by management, more engaged and are less likely to jump ship.
2. Improve customer experience
Flexible working allows businesses to schedule work over longer periods of the day.
These extended operating hours mean your customers have a much better chance of getting in touch with you. When they do reach you, if they can speak to an agent who’s less stressed, with a higher level of job satisfaction, they’re more likely to have a positive experience.
Good customer service begins with employees that feel empowered and valued, which in turn has a positive impact on customer retention.
3. Reduce operating costs
It’s easy to underestimate the cost savings that can be achieved through flexible working.
The initial investment in cloud-based technologies is dwarfed by the savings to be made in overheads like office space and energy costs; and that’s without considering the environmental impact.
Ultimately the proof’s in the pudding, yet the evidence and, crucially, the support is already out there.
67% of UK office workers say mobile working is more important than a company car and for 76% it’s one of their top three priorities when considering their employment options, making flexible working a key consideration in attracting and retaining talented staff.
These statistics demonstrate why the adoption of flexible working is fundamental to the future profitability of your business and your ability to attract great people.