Flexi-hours, remote working, freelance and telecommuting – these are some of the latest buzzwords in the workplace, and according to Regus, a great method for increasing productivity and revenues. According to a study by Regus, this global trend has seen 72% managers comment on the fact that staff becomes more motivated and energized in direct correlation with flexible working arrangements, while 68% believe that flexible working has increased revenues.
Regus is the largest flexible workplace provider in the world, offering a wide range of services, such as offices and meeting rooms and the global study included respondents from a number of countries, including Mexico, Japan, UK, South Africa, USA, France, Germany and Australia.
From a talent management perspective, motivated staff are more likely to remain loyal to their companies. Therefore, flexible working is successfully used to entice talent to join and stay with companies. The flexible working studies featured below provide positive proof that businesses around the world feel that such practices can help companies overcome growth barriers.
Small Businesses Embrace Flexible Working
Regus reports that 80% of small business managers have embraced working flexibly more than they have done previously, and more so than the norm.
Perhaps a reason for this willingness to work differently, could be the fact that small businesses are generally more cost-conscious than larger corporations with bigger budgets.
Small companies also tend to hire remote workers or freelancers, which means that they pay flexible hourly rates for deliverables and are uninvolved in IT and other infrastructure, rather than paying flat rate salaries, office rental and in-house maintenance and IT. Instead, small businesses make use of cloud or web-based collaboration tools, such as online meeting software to work remotely with freelancers.
Productivity: A Direct Result of Flexible Working
In the study, respondents from both large and small businesses agree that revenues increase when they allow employees to work flexibly, while small businesses are convinced that it is a direct result of working flexibly.
While the study did show that staff working flexibly felt more motivated and energized, and that it is a key tool to promote talent-retention, it is also the likely cause for the increased productivity.
Happy workers are productive workers, and it only makes sense that a worker would rather complete the tasks set out for the day and move on to their other priorities, than to punch a clock for eight hours a day, 20 days a month.
The Regus study did show that most remote workers work on the move and from work centers in their cities. This is a particularly attractive option for workers and employees at small businesses that don’t have a large network of company head offices.
Freelance Industry Growing Rapidly
Fifty-one percent of the respondents in the Regus study intended to hire more freelancers in 2013, with 80% of respondents believing that more people will choose a more part-time career path, which, by default, will increase the demand for a more flexible working environment. Respondents feel that flexible working will help mothers returning to work after having babies to better accommodate the demands of work and family alike. This trend has continued to grow and now, in 2015, it is bigger than ever. The Working Trends 2015 survey has found that SMEs who hire freelancers have upped their flexible workforce from an average of 25% to an average of 31% since 2011.
CareerBuilder also conducted a study on the hiring trends that we would see in 2015. One of the major findings, was that 46% of respondents planned on hiring contract or temporary workers this year. Of those respondents looking to hire flexible employees, 56% planned on turning those temporary positions into full time employment.
Based on the results of these studies, it is clear that flexible working is the way to go. Those who still resist the trend are yet to grasp the immense scope of benefits that flexible working combined with technology has to offer today.
According to Sam Greengard’s article in “Videoconferencing: Making the Right Connections,” in Beyond Computing , people already started understanding the benefits of videoconferencing back in 1996. In that year, nearly 300,000 systems were shipped by manufacturers, and the next year, 1.4 million copies.
Of course, in today’s flexible working environment, we don’t have to rely on shipping expensive floppy disks or CDs, as online meeting tools are available at a fraction of the cost to allow remote workers to collaborate together over the Web. It is also faster and more efficient than ever before which supports the growth in flexible working further. If you intend on hiring more freelancers this year, now is your time to check out the new version of Mikogo here. The latest release and new features will facilitate the way in which you work with people at a distance, saving time, money and increasing productivity.