Your Reading List & recommendations

Employee demand drives the flexible workplace

Discover the four things we’ve been told what employees want from their employers. And get advice on how to deliver these for your business.

As younger generations enter the workforce and technologies enable new ways of working, the workplace has to keep up with digital adoption. As an employer, creating the right working environment and culture is an important aspect of managing employee experience. Keeping your people happy at work has an impact on talent retention, productivity and overall profit.

Our research has shown that, apart from salary, flexible working is the most important consideration for people choosing a new job. Flexibility doesn’t just mean having the option of remote working from a coffee shop once or twice a week, although that is a part of it. It’s really about prioritising the individual. It’s understanding that the ideal working environment is not the same for everyone and adapting to accommodate that.

With that in mind, with the future of work, what else do people want from their working arrangements? They want the option of an office as well.

26% of people we spoke to have said that they miss socialising with their colleagues.

It’s likely this number is currently even higher, now that people have spent longer adjusting to the restrictions on movement caused by COVID-19. This desire for social interaction is given as a reason for why people with the option of flexible working like to spend approximately two days a week in the office.

Digital connectivity is also crucial, for times when people are working remotely. This means having the ability to quickly and easily communicate with people, plugging into whichever network is needed.

Proper digital connectivity allows for seamless collaboration when working together in the same room is not an option. Six out of ten employees feel this is a key consideration, but only three out of ten said their employer has got this right.

Our report also shows that people want their future of flexible work to operate with purpose. When people are no longer bumping into each other in the kitchen, or chatting over their lunchbreak, the interactions they have will tend to be more action-oriented. This brings a new level of focus to communications between co-workers. Some people can accomplish more when remote working by limiting their distractions, which leads to an increase in productivity. When they choose to go into the office, that’s when valuable social needs can be met.

It’s clear that flexible working looks different depending on who you ask, and when you ask them. One thing that doesn’t change is the priority that’s given to employee needs. Flexible working is effectively having the option to change your mind. As an organisation, maximising your employees’ options for work is the best way to meet their need for flexibility for the future of work.

O2 Business can help you to improve connectivity, security and overall flexibility, making it easier to look after your employees. For more information on creating your flexible workspace, just get in touch.


All articles


Public sector

Safe & secure


Tech advice

Work smarter