We've written previously about the enormous benefits that flexible working can bring to the lives of employees. But what about companies? Why are we seeing such a substantial shift to flex-working policies at companies in the UK and across the globe?
We've dug into the research to pick out some of the (data-backed!) arguments for a flexible workplace.
Productivity increases with flexibility
We all know the feeling of being unable to get anything done some mornings because you're exhausted, or in the post-lunch slump where you're expected to be at your desk but you can't focus. Flexible working can help to combat those times where we feel unproductive as we have more control over how to structure work time. This leads to higher levels of both team and individual productivity in flexible working environments, as numerous studies have shown.
In a famous study of 16,000 office workers, providing a flexible working environment led to a 13% increase in performance and workers were 20-30% more productive when working from home.
This productivity comes from a number of different areas, according to the study - people spend more time actually working when they are at home, they take fewer sick days, and they take less time off for other commitments and instead fit them around their day if they can be flexible.
When offered a flexible working environment, people are less likely to leave their jobs
Employees given the option of working flexibly are less likely to leave their jobs, according to a number of experiments done in traditional workplaces. A Scottish company reduced their employee turnover from 16% to 10% according to this case study, and in China a firm that moved to optional flexible working arrangements saw a 50% decrease in attrition.
Given that happiness, mental health, work-life balance, and productivity can all improve with flexible working, then it's not surprising that people want to stay in jobs that offer that kind of environment. Flexible working is a powerful tool for companies to win the war for talent; unhappy employees are twice as likely as happy employees to leave their jobs, according to this study.
Flexible working also saves money
Office rent and overheads are expensive, as are recruitment and training of new staff, hence why companies with flexible working environments save money. KPMG managed to save £4.7m during the recession by offering flexible working arrangements, and Ctrip saved $1400 per employee per year through offering flexibility. Commute cost is also reduced for employees.
The mental, physical, environmental, financial, and performance benefits of flexible working are driving the evolution of the way we work.
Flexibility has so many benefits for both businesses and people, and we want it to become the norm so that we help to create a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.
To understand more about flexible working or to advertise your open roles with us, just drop us an email and we'll get back to you ASAP.
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