28 August 2014
Eighty-one per cent of business owners and senior managers see flexible working as a way to improve business productivity, says a survey.
Research by workplace provider Regus surveyed nearly 2,200 business owners and senior managers and reflects an increasing appreciation of the wider benefits of flexible working, including flexi-location as well as flexi-hours, compared with similar studies just one year ago.
For example, only 74 per cent of those surveyed last year saw flexible working as a way to improve business productivity.
In this year’s survey, nine out of 10 business owners and senior managers asked also say that offering flexible working options is “a highly effective” way to improve staff morale.
Underlining the recruitment advantages, seven in 10 (68 per cent) stressed that flexi-work is increasingly demanded by prospective employees. This chimes with previous research, which found that three-quarters of staff would choose one job over another similar one if it offered flexible working.
John Spencer, UK CEO at Regus, said: “The recent regulatory changes give all staff the legal right to request flexible working, and the results of our latest research serves as a timely reminder of the wide-ranging benefits of this modern approach to work. Having a choice in where, when and how we work makes a huge difference to our overall happiness; it helps us cut down on the stress of a long commute, frees up time to cook and eat healthily, or simply helps us get home earlier.
“However, it is important that employers embrace the multi-location workplace, not just flexi-hours. And this doesn’t just mean offering home working. Most people prefer a more professional, dynamic environment that is closer to home (but crucially not at home), such as a local business centre or a ‘third place’ work location.”
Regus estimates that companies can save up to 60 per cent on their property costs if they move to a flexible workspace model. The company is pioneering the development of ‘third place’ business centres at unconventional locations such as motorway service areas, petrol stations and retail parks, aiming to help people make flexible work more productive.