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Businesses looking to build a skilled workforce are acting smart and going flexible
There is no doubt that flexible workspace is rapidly becoming the new normal. According to IWG’s 2019 Global Workspace Survey, a staggering 85% of workers worldwide reveal they would prioritise a role that offered flexible working options.
In addition, 50% of the 15,000 respondents surveyed confirmed that they work outside their company’s main location for at least half the working week. In fact, it’s what the so-called ‘Generation Flex’ – an ever-expanding pool of digital nomads who want to plug in at a time and location that suits them – expects.
Power shift to employees
At a time of talent scarcity, the evidence overwhelmingly points to independent, skilled workers looking for a job elsewhere if are not given the opportunity to work their own hours, in remote locations as well as in co-working spaces.
And with competition fierce in workforce diversification, no organisation wants to fall short of meeting employee needs. Some 77% of businesses are already adapting to improve talent retention by introducing flexible working, while 71% of those surveyed acknowledge that it enables them to expand their workforce.
Ending commute drudgery
If today’s professionals were given the option to work from a more convenient location or to stick with a lengthy commute, the prevailing choice is clear: two-fifths of people see commuting as the worst part of the day, with 22% of respondents saying they are ‘regularly late’ for work due to travel disruptions. More than half of respondents believe the commute could be obsolete within a decade.
For today’s professionals work-life balance is key. And with flexible working seen to improve this balance by 78%, it’s a more than attractive proposition for businesses looking to attract and retain talent across all generations of workers. It’s not just the younger employees are looking to avoid a long journey to the office – it’s the older workers, too, who have delayed retirement and want to combine their personal life with continued workforce participation.
Young or old, a happy worker is a productive worker. Those who have the option to work remotely report that a flexible workspace can help them concentrate, and that it improves efficiency and creativity by providing a change of scenery and a means of avoiding ‘cabin fever’.
Indeed, in the IWG Survey, 85% of businesses confirm that productivity has increased in their business because of greater flexibility. What’s more, over 40% of respondents report at least a 21% improvement in productivity.
The secret to success
Alongside the latest figures that show a growing number of organisations adopt flexible working (up 5% since 2017), 64% of businesses say their revenues and profits have increased in the last year.
In these times of political and financial uncertainty, when businesses are prioritising agility and cost efficiencies, flexible working is accelerating speed to market, helping businesses manage risk and consolidating their portfolio and reduce capital and operational expenditure.