Guest post by freelance writer Jenny Holt.
Nearly 25% of Americans work from home at least part time, which is around 39 million people, and this number is rising rapidly. In fact, according to Global Workplace Analytics, the number of home workers has risen by around 80%. Flexible working gives employees flexibility on where, when and the hours they work. An increasing number of businesses are recognizing the benefits of a more flexible workforce.
Employers understand that being productive is not necessarily about being in the office from 9am to 5pm. Instead of rewarding the number of hours’ people work, employers are starting to focus more on the work outcomes and acknowledging the positives for introducing flexible working.
Consultation across the organization
But before giving employees the opportunity for flexible working, managers need to consult with all areas of the business. IT, finance, HR and facilities management all need to be brought in to make sure that there is the appropriate structure in place to maximize the benefits of flexible working and ensure both employees and managers are happy with the arrangements.
Flexible working needs trust
When employees feel as though they have the trust and flexibility to work how and where they want, they are likely to be more productive. A study by Stanford University working with a large Chinese travel agency found that productivity increased by 30% after introducing flexible working. When employees don’t have to spend their time traveling to and from work, they are more likely to dedicate the time to working hard. This makes a big difference to job satisfaction and allows for an improved work-life balance.
Technology keeps everyone connected at all times
The huge array of technology, apps and software allows employees to keep in touch and work anywhere using things like video conferencing, Skype, and email. This also allows employees to fit work around their home life.
Attracting and maintaining a talented workforce
Attracting and keeping a talented workforce is always a huge priority. If employees feel empowered and are given the right tools for success, they are likely to remain with a company longer. Flexible working is making employees happier and businesses have a real opportunity to be considered employers of choice.
Improves employees’ well-being and commitment
While some companies may think that implementing flexible working is too challenging, it can offer considerable business benefits and boost productivity. Empowering employees with the right tools and working environment will result in numerous positives that include better customer service, keeping talented people and above all, giving businesses a significant competitive advantage.