In today’s society, you are encouraged to be happy in your own skin and accept and embrace who you are as everyone is unique (and quite rightly so). The big question is, if everyone is so different should organisations implement remote and flexible working hours to accommodate this difference in order to get the best out of their team?
Research shows there are many benefits of remote and flexible working hours to both the employee and employer and we have drilled this down to 6 main benefits.
Reasons to offer remote and flexible working hours…
PRODUCTIVITY AND MOTIVATION
Research suggests that employees that set their own hours are more productive and according to a study conducted by Vistage, 47% of employers agree that workers who set their own hours are more productive. This is a massive stat which highlights that half of your team could potentially work more productively by altering their working hours.
Cate Hudson who leads the developer experience for Automattic states “talent is evenly distributed but opportunity is often not” which is why all 930 team members work remotely without a single fixed office. Other than the cost saving aspect of not having an office, benefits include time saving where the team doesn’t have to battle rush hour and improved focus and communication. Working this way may not be for everyone and drawbacks may include isolation and feeling alone but it may be what your team needs to improve motivation and productivity. Read the full bbc news article here.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Stress reduction, a healthier body and mind and environmental benefits are all pros of remote and flexible working hours. The daily commute can cause stress so working remotely can improve mental anxiety associated with commuting. With the extra time you are gaining from working from home you will have more time to catch up on much needed sleep and general relaxation time which can help you avoid high blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack. Working from home may enable you to spend less time working from sitting down which will improve posture and back pain. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Additionally, a decrease in people commuting to work would decrease the number of vehicles on the road which would lower emissions and would improve air quality, making the air that we breathe and world that we live in cleaner.
Not having an office space means there is a huge cost saving to the employer on rent, bills, general maintenance, food and what not. Particularly if you’re renting in locations such as London where the rent is sky high. You will be able to kit out your teams home offices whilst saving a pretty penny. Employees will also save money on their commute and potentially on food as it is more likely that you will cook at home rather than grab lunch on the go. This could lead to more nutritious and balanced eating habits which would improve your health.
Offering remote and flexible working hours enables the team to spend more time with family and friends as well as participating in hobbies and other activities that may only occur during generic working hours. Having this flexibility links back to health and wellbeing, where team members are more likely to be more motivated and happier and therefore will be more productive and focused at work. Obviously, there is the risk that your team doesn’t find the right balance of home and work life and becomes withdrawn and starts to slack.
TIME AND TRAVEL
Not having the daily rush hour commute will allow employees to gain back precious time which in turn could benefit their mental state and productively at work.
People can often label themselves as a “morning person” or “evening person”. Do you think you will get the best out of someone who is an evening person and starts at 7.30am? Probably not. Which stems the idea that offering flexible working hours and therefore the chance to start at 9.30 instead would benefit the employee and employer.
THE BEST TALENT
Employers are offering benefit after benefit to their employees to ensure their team feel appreciated and valued and in return they hope they don’t look elsewhere for new employment. Therefore, when thinking about recruitment offering flexible and remote working hours could be a deal breaker for a good candidate.
“Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid”. – Albert Einstein.
The debate in schools is that subjects need to be broader to suit those who are both academically gifted and creatively so that there is a balance, and everyone is able to succeed. If judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, the fish will never reach it’s potential. It could be argued that an office job isn’t for you, but it may also be the case that as an employer you could gain an absolute asset of a team member by engaging in flexible and remote working hours as they have the flexibility they need in order to fill their potential.
59% of businesses offer flexible working hours, with 36% considering it. Office 365 encourages this shift in remote and flexible working hours as everything is cloud based therefore your entire team are able to access up to date documents you use on a day to day basis, you are able to communicate through Outlook or Teams to send messages or documents to individuals or groups of people. Everything that would be accessible from your desk is now available at your fingertips wherever in the world.