As flexible working gains popularity, it’s easy to assume that the benefits of doing so from an employee’s perspective are purely tangible.
Naturally, by working from home more of the time, employees are able to save time and money by not having to commute by car or by public transport every day. They’re also able to spend more time with their family, and often are able to prepare home-cooked food for their lunch, both of which also support the better work/life balance that flexible working can provide.
However, the benefits spread far further than the bottom line, and can influence the quality and quantity of the work they do, and the value that they can add to the business as a whole. This is especially the case in these four areas:
1. Greater productivity
The feel-good factor that employees are getting from flexible work has positive consequences on their work. According to research from Zenefits, 78% of employees felt that flexible work increased their productivity. The main reason for this is that the happier, less stressed working lives that employees experience when working flexibly means they can focus on their daily tasks better, and feel more motivated to complete them to the best of their ability.
Employers also gain from this increase in productivity as it helps them continue to grow and to increase profitability. They will also likely find that with employees feeling happier and more motivated, absenteeism rates will reduce, boosting productivity even further.
2. Greater control
When working flexibly, the control of where and when an employee works transfers from the employer to the individuals themselves. No longer are they expected to be metaphorically chained to a desk from nine until five: instead, they can exercise a certain degree of autonomy over which days they work from home and which days they work from the office.
This control can be extremely empowering for an employee, not least because it makes it easier for them to fit work around personal commitments (e.g. childcare or medical appointments). It also means they can plan ahead to work from certain places when specific needs demand it, e.g. booking meeting rooms in the office in advance when collaboration with co-workers is required at a particular time.
3. More enjoyment of office work
If a flexible working model is properly implemented, the role that the office plays within a business changes significantly. Instead of being the core of the operation, they become hubs for collaboration or to serve certain purposes, that employees visit only for specific reasons that they will be aware of and plan for in advance.
A workspace booking solution enables this by allowing employees to search for and book all the spaces they need before they travel in. Employees can schedule the desk spaces, meeting rooms or other resources they need, so that they can be certain that their journey into the office won’t be wasted, and they can achieve everything they need to without any hassle, stress or compromise.
4. Increased loyalty
All the aforementioned benefits can be felt throughout a workforce and a business day-to-day, but the long-term benefits will take longer to materialize. In particular, employees that are happier, more productive, feel in control and feel flexible working suits them will be more likely to stay in their current roles and not look for an alternative employer.
This impact can even be noticed by employees outside the company, especially among those who don’t feel that they’re getting the same level of freedom from their current employer. They are more likely to be attracted to a business happy to give them some flexibility, and this can make a real difference in a job market where the most talented candidates increasingly hold all the cards and are more able to ‘shop around’.