The importance of workplace flexibility

In today’s business landscape, flexible working arrangements are becoming more and more popular, and this is about more than just giving staff leave when they request it (although that never goes astray). The modern workplace is about the employee experience, and flexible working is a key element of creating a culture that will generate fresh thinking, produce better quality work and improve the performance of your company. These all go hand in hand, so if you’re seeking an innovative, high performing workforce the answer could lie in the flexibility you offer.

What is workplace flexibility?

The key to being flexible in the workplace is in giving your employees the freedom to control when, how and where they work. Workplace flexibility acknowledges that no two people function the same and everyone likes to work a little differently. As a leader, you could create a much more efficient workforce when prioritising innovation and efficiency rather than focusing on the process behind the work getting done.

There are three main kinds of flexible working:

  1. Remote work: this is when an employee operates entirely away from the office, usually from home, and doesn’t need to come in to the office to do their work.
  2. Hybrid work: an employee will split their time between working remotely and working in the office.
  3. Flexible working hours: this allows employees more freedom with when they work. For example, they might do longer hours during the week and have a three day weekend, or come in early so they can leave early.

With flexibility in the workplace, people will be able to operate in a way that benefits them and their circumstances, which ultimately results in higher quality outputs that are advantageous to your bottom line.

6 benefits of flexibility in the workplace

1. Keeps workplace morale high 

In a study from the American Sociological Review, two groups of IT workers were examined – one with workplace flexibility, and one with traditional nine-to-five in office hours. Unsurprisingly, results found that the group with more freedom in the workplace were much happier and met their goals more consistently.

After emerging from a period where a lot of us had little control over our circumstances, people are valuing autonomy more than ever. So, employees that have control over their working life are going to be a lot more satisfied, and feel more trusted and valued. This encourages loyalty and commitment, which reduces staff turnover. Plus, when people feel good about coming to work each day, it has a flow on effect that benefits overall performance.

2. Boosts productivity  

Happier staff equals higher productivity. In fact, according to the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, happy staff are 12% more productive. Likewise, statistics from the New Century Financial Corporation show that companies with satisfied employees outperform competition by 20%, and earn 1.2-1.7% more.

Plus, with technology that supports remote working your people can stay online through a range of circumstances. If someone is travelling for a conference, they’re still able to respond to client and colleague emails, keeping things moving even in their absence. This same technology allows instant messaging and cloud sharing, which means fast response times no matter where your staff is operating from.

3. Easier to recruit high calibre staff 

We are suffering from a global staff shortage, which is making recruitment a lot more competitive. With workplace flexibility the fastest-growing priority for jobseekers, offering this can give you the edge you need.

Research from CareerBuilder found that roles allowing flexible working received seven times the number of applications than strictly in-person positions. Fulfilling this demand for jobs with remote working flexibility makes it easier to attract ideal candidates to your position.

It also means you are less restricted in who you can recruit. With a technology infrastructure that allows people to effectively connect remotely, you can hire someone in a different country or city that is a perfect fit for the open position. It offers easier ways to accommodate needs if a prospective staff member is restricted to a job that allows them to work from home some, or all, of the time. 

 4. Cultivates a progressive culture   

When a business is willing to change and adapt, it opens them up to opportunities down the line. A readiness to try new things, like flexible working, means benefitting from the latest innovations, while slower moving companies are left behind. Plus, this top-level out-of-the box thinking could trickle down to the rest of the organisation, helping to encourage progressive thought that is often stifled in working environments committed to tradition.

This is also thanks to flexible working itself. With remote employees out in the world more often, they are away from the sometimes-stagnate office environment. Employees with a well-rounded and balanced life can think more freely, and bring this inspiration to the projects they work on. And at the end of the day, businesses with progressive cultures will find it easier to attract and retain talent.

5. Saves on expenses  

If your business operates on a remote working schedule, that means you don’t need all staff in the office at all times. Since it only needs to support half your employees at any time, this can reduce the size of your premises, meaning less rent. In turn, this will minimise the supplies you need, and the cost of things like electricity, catering, cleaning, and other utilities.

6. Improves the mental wellbeing of your employees

Traditional working can be extremely stressful, and often is a faster way to burnout. Research has shown that flexibility at work can significantly reduce this stress and benefit the mental wellbeing of staff. This is largely thanks to how much easier it is to achieve a work-life balance. With more time to tend to important things out of the office, people’s mental wellness improves and they’re able to take better care of themselves.

What you can do to create employee flexibility in the workplace

To allow for flexible working, you need to be willing to have a conversation with your staff and see what their individual needs are, then you can think about the best way to facilitate them. When it comes to putting this into practice, the most important thing is having a tech infrastructure that allows for a seamless remote working experience for employees. This includes:

  • Collaboration tools that allow for instant voice, text, and video communication.
  • Cloud storage so your team can access their data from wherever they’re working from.
  • A mobility management system aligned to your organisations needs and strategies.
  • Security solutions that keep your information secure across multiple devices and locations.
  • Connectivity that supports whatever tech tools you implement.

Make it happen with Rubicon 8 as your dedicated IT partner 

At Rubicon 8, we not only understand the importance of flexible working, we love to push the boundaries of what’s possible for a modern workforce. Plus, we can leverage our expertise and vendor relationships to provide you the latest technology solutions that support it. We’ll get to know your business, and take the time to understand your individual requirements so we can advise the best tech to implement. From there, we can train your team and provide ongoing support as we manage your IT environment.

Talk to us today, and we’ll make sure you and your staff are benefitting from flexible working faster.

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