/ August 24, 2016

The Advantages of Workplace Flexibility

For a long time many companies have felt that they need to ‘oversee’ their employees to ensure that work is getting done, and that they are giving up some control if they don’t. They have also had images of employees sitting around all day, getting nothing done. Well times have changed, and having workplace flexibility has made some companies realise that it can result in increased productivity and happier, longer lasting employees. You don’t have to ‘see’ your employees at their desks all the time- you really just need to see the end result of their work. Here are the advantages of workplace flexibility for both the employer and the employee…

The employee:

· You can set up your office wherever you choose, and whatever works best for you. Maybe you work best in the main room of the house, or in your bedroom away from distractions. Only you know how you perform best, and you can set yourself up for success. If you can’t afford to be distracted constantly by the goings on in an office, having control over your environment can be key to productivity.
· Employees can save significant amounts of money on such things as clothes, (having a set of clothes for home and a set for work), lunch costs of eating out all the time, as well as the cost of commuting to and from work each day.
· There are less restrictions. You can go out to get a coffee and work from a coffee shop, or even work while travelling if the nature of your work allows it.
· You can work the hours that suit you. There will always be work that you need to do during office hours, such as taking and making calls and emails etc. If you know that you are more productive at certain times however, you can block out those hours and get far more work done when you know you will work at your best.
· Meetings will not have the same drudgery to them- video calls and conference calls can be completed quicker, without the idle chit chat, and you are still right at your desk.
· Working from home can make it much easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle (think less take away food and office snacks), and can help spend much more time with your family, which overall produces a much healthier, less stressed employee!

The employer:

· If employees are healthier, happier and less stressed, this will ultimately result in happier and more productive employees. There is evidence to suggest that happier, less stressed employees will stay longer in their jobs and take less sick days which results in considerable savings to a company.
· With all of the tools available these days such as video chat, Wi-Fi and conference calls, there is little difference to someone sitting at their desk, and in a conference room.
· Small businesses and start-ups rely on everyone putting in as many hours as possible. Without a commute, this all adds up to more hours that can be spent working. There is also the flexibility to work out of hours when needed, without it causing a huge upheaval or inconvenience.
· Projects can be completed faster and to a higher standard. When employees can spend the time needed and without distractions, the end result can often be better than if they were in an office.
· If there are not as many quality workers to hire in your immediate area, employers can open up the talent pool considerably by hiring remote workers.
· Meetings can be much more enjoyable and productive when people do not see each other every day.

If employees are the sort that will sit at home all day and do nothing, chances are they are also the type that will sit around in the office all day chatting and get little done. Depending on the work style and personality type of employees, working from home can result in happier, less stressed employees who are also more productive. This can also result in considerable savings to a company.

In this day and age, we can all nearly work wherever we are currently located, due to technology, so it makes sense to update our workplace accordingly. With so many communication tools available to remote workers, we should really focus on productivity and savings in deciding what is best for each organisation.

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