Is flexible working the new normal?

In 2019, more and more employers are looking at how they can offer a more flexible approach to work. As such, working nine-to-five is fast becoming outdated. And, even if flexible working isn’t the norm as yet, over the next few years it soon will be.

Here are just some of the reasons why:

A new generation is demanding new ways of working

A new generation of workers puts flexible working near the top of the list when it comes to what they want from an employer. Indeed, a study by Vodafone found that three in four workers said that working flexibility boosted their job satisfaction. Not least because of changes in society which prioritise a better work-life balance and reduced car use. To attract and retain the best people, meeting this demand will be essential.

A quarter of employees have turned down a job because the employer has not offered flexible working conditions[1].

Find out how else you can boost wellbeing at work.

Flexible working suits the older generation

When talking about mobile and flexible working, it’s typical to focus on millennials. But according to a recent report,[2] flexible working is also needed to meet the demands of an increasing number of older workers. Indeed, the Centre for Ageing Better said: “Flexible working is important for workers of all ages and is a key component of an age-friendly and inclusive workplace.”

The gig economy is flourishing

In addition to the demand from employees, self-employment is also on the increase. And, with the rise of the gig-economy, more employers are turning to freelancers to find the best people for the job – without the hassle of hiring permeant staff.

These freelancers are particularly passionate about flexible working. They also offer employers the opportunity to test the water before rolling out this approach to employees.

It’s now easier to work remotely

It’s no coincidence that an increase in flexible working has happened alongside the evolution of mobile technology. Today, it’s easier than ever for people to work from home, with increasing home broadband speeds, mobile devices, cloud-based hosted desktops, apps and video conferencing making the transition painless for everyone involved.

As a matter of fact, with the cost of office space one the biggest barriers to starting a new business, many startups are now being run entirely from home.

Flexible working boosts productivity

But it’s not just employees who benefit from implementing a flexible working policy. One of the main reason why this trend is being embraced by organisations is that it can also lead to increases in productivity.

Of course, some employers worry that working remotely may lead to staff doing less. But in reality, allowing people to work in an environment that suits them actually results in smarter working practices. More gets done in less time and staff are willing to put in extra hours over and above those who work the standard 9 to 5.  In fact, the same Vodaphone study found that, when it comes to flexible working, 54% of employees said that it makes them more productive.

Let’s face it, it’s not hard to understand why people would get more done in a quiet office at home with no distractions rather than a noisy, distracting open office.

Since the right to request flexible working was introduced, an increasing number of businesses have launched formal agile working policies. This change is happening across the UK, with companies of all types and sizes waking up to the benefits of flexible, remote and mobile working.

If you’re thinking about investing in technology to make sure your business is ready for the mobile working revolution, speak to a member of our team on 01942 261 671 to find out more.

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[1] TeleWare

[2] Ageing Society Grand Challenge report. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)