Gone are the days where our best work takes place only in the office setting. I know personally that I have many great ideas while I’m on a morning run or driving in the car. It is for this reason that so many employers are now looking to provide greater flexibility for their staff and provide an avenue for less office contact hours.
At Zeara we are also seeing more of this ‘home-based’ style of working and liaise closely with businesses to ensure they have the absolute best IT solutions to be set up for success. In the past employers have been concerned by staff working from home and whether they will be able to work through distractions around the home, with no way of really knowing what work was being completed.
Trust between staff and employers is paramount with this style of work set up, however research shows that staff are far happier and more productive in their jobs when they have the flexibility to delegate their time between family and work. Having the opportunity to attend a child’s concert and make up the working hours later that evening, creates so much more balance and contentment for staff trying to juggle it all. Their job satisfaction increases and in turn they produce a higher quality of work.
Much of this relies on state-of-the-art IT solutions that the company has available to staff. When using the Cloud Desktop for instance, staff can work remotely from anywhere on any device. Staff members who occasionally work out of the office can still collaborate with internal staff and work on documents simultaneously. Scheduled meetings can be conducted via video messaging or Skype for Business and all staff have access to office calendars.
When employers facilitate flexible work for employees, staff retention and commitment significantly increases according to a study completed by the Institute of Leadership and Management in Britain.
It was also noted that about 70% of UK office workers “get more done” if they work flexibly, and 38% say they are more creative when flexible, a report by Microsoft in 2013 found. The report also found that 92% do not consider having more distractions as the largest obstacle to flexible working. At the launch of the report, Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft, said: “People don’t need to be shackled to their desks to be productive or to collaborate with their colleagues. Work should be a thing you do, not a place you go. “Flexible working is more about choosing a location that best suits your requirements to get the job done. This can mean working from a variety of locations during the day, be that on the move, a shared knowledge hub, a coffee shop, a remote office or at home if need be.”
It will be interesting to see if more businesses adopt flexible working environments in the future and how this will in turn affect productivity and success amongst employees.