Viewpoint posted on Aug 7, 2019
IWG: Global Workplace Survey on Flexible Work
In the modern world we live in, flexible work has evolved into a highly beneficial aspect for the workforce population. The demand to have flexible work as an option in peoples’ jobs is rapidly rising. Not only are employees demanding flexible work, but business leaders are also globally encouraged to offer flexibility due to its perceptible success with their employees. The old norm of working 9 to 5 in an office cubicle is being overcome by the concept of flexibility. Employees relatively show higher levels of happiness, engagement, and productivity as a result of being able to work not just flexible hours, but also in flexible spaces. This includes working from home, cafes or libraries rather than solemnly being in the same office 24/7, five days a week.
In order to accurately calculate the statistics behind the benefits of flexible work, IWG, conducted a global workplace survey. The survey consisted of users from their numerous worldwide offices, taking into account the responses of approximately 15,000 participants across 80 countries.
Perhaps the most substantial findings of the survey were that an astounding 85% of respondents perceived higher productivity in their businesses as a result of implementing flexible working standards. This shows that higher efficiency can be achieved by properly stimulating flexibility. Respondents indicated that this efficiency relates to some factors such as commuting and work environments. Many employees tend to go through long commutes to get to work and often leads them towards lower productivity. Some of them describe their commutes as “the worst part of their day”. Offering them the ability to sometimes work from home or a location that is situated closer to home. Some employees feel dissatisfied when working in the same office on a daily basis. Therefore, the ability to work in different environments allows them to often feel reconciled and more motivated to work efficiently.
One of the key findings of the survey is that a global average of 77% of companies use flexible working benefits as an incentive to attract and retain talented employees. A few countries that rank amongst the highest in this global average are Australia, The Netherlands, and Canada. The previous figure correlates to a finding from respondents that 83% of people would be more inclined to choose between two job offers if one of them offers flexible working standards.
Whilst flexible working proves to be a successful factor in increasing productivity of employees, businesses need to ensure that they properly implement this concept in order to reach that higher level of productivity. For example, providing their employees with proper equipment for remote work is a crucial aspect. Some businesses expect professional work from their employees, whilst not providing them with the professional equipment to accomplish that. This shows that by offering flexible work, a business must also invest in providing their employees the proper equipment.
Another important challenge that businesses face through flexible work is data security. It is easy to fear data breaches when working from remote locations. This raises a possible threat for some companies that then need to further implement precautions to prevent something like this from happening.
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