Looking ahead to a more flexible future of work
As businesses embrace the cultural shift towards flexible working, is it safe to say this change is permanent? Find out how the “new normal” can bring efficiencies to your business such as cost savings and increased productivity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen businesses adopt flexible working at a rapid rate, with more employees remote working from home than ever before.
Our new research report, The flexible future of work, reveals how attitudes towards remote working have changed during this period. With many business owners surprised by how their employees have been able to work from home effectively.
Last year, only 30% of UK employees had experienced working from home.1 But now employers have seen the benefits first-hand, 74% of companies are planning to make a permanent shift to more remote working with a digitally enabled workforce.2
74% of companies are planning to permanently shift to more remote working2
Aside from salary, workers say flexible working hours is the most important benefit they consider when choosing a new job. So more flexibility could be the key to a happier workforce. But what other benefits could flexibility bring to your business?
When more of your workforce is remote working, there’s less need to have a desk for everyone. This means you can reduce the cost of rent and redistribute savings throughout your company. Freeing-up cashflow so you can invest in tools and technologies that help your employees work more efficiently and connect with their colleagues and customers from remote locations.
Another benefit of working remotely is saving on business trips. According to our report, before the COVID-19 pandemic, a fifth of workers were going on UK business trips at least once a week. In future, many of us would like to travel less often for work. A quarter of respondents considered business trips unnecessary and felt they could be replaced with video calls and virtual meetings.
“Organisations are trying to rid themselves of assets – and offices are among the biggest of them. So, there’s clear financial drive behind home/remote working. There are clear operational and cost benefits.”
IT director for a local authority
Away from office distractions, employees can focus on solitary tasks, such as writing, programming and auditing. This increases productivity for these tasks to work from home effectively, which are essential to operations.
Technology makes flexible working possible to achieve the flexibility that workers desire – smartphones and tablets, to allow teams to be connected from anywhere as well as keeping in touch with customers.
When working together in the same location isn’t an option, reliable connectivity is essential for digital collaboration. In our report, six out of ten employees said it’s very important for their employer to focus on connectivity, but only three out of ten feel their employer has currently got it right.
Wider talent pool
When you aren’t tied to one office location, your opportunities for hiring open up. Remote working enables you to bring unique and rare skillsets into your organisation from all over the world.
The transition to a flexible future of work will offer benefits that reach far beyond the office. Discover the other ways your business can benefit from flexible working, in our research report research report, The flexible future of work.
- Office for National Statistics, 2019. Coronavirus and homeworking in the UK labour market: 2019. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/coronavirusandhomeworkingintheuklabourmarket/2019
- Gartner, 2020. Gartner CFO survey reveals 74% intend to shift some employees to remote working permanently. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-04-03-gartner-cfo-surey-reveals-74-percent-of-organizations-to-shift-some-employees-to-remote-work-permanently2