Flexi Working – The Times They Are a Changin’

For centuries, workers have followed an ingrained regime, consisting of long hours and sporadic days off. However, the times they are a changin’.

As new job roles come into play and more digital-focused positions take over, employees are being welcomed into a flexi-working utopia, whereby they choose their hours and work space, of which for some, can take the shape of a king-size bed.

Archaic Monday-to-Friday weeks are predicted to become a thing of the past, with workers already conjuring up flexi-time or working from home.

We’ve currently the ability to submit invoices, send emails and conduct video interviews, without having to even sit at a desk, and thus working five days a week in an office job is definitely going to change.

According to a 2017 study by EY and Timewise employees are adopting well, stats reveal: “87 percent of full-time employees in the UK are either working flexibly or would prefer to do so.”

 

The demand is real

An employee recently spoke out about her battle with mental health whilst working a demanding office job. After struggling to keep it together, she resorted to freelance work, as an attempt to relieve her symptoms. Instead of taking a break from work altogether – which for some can heighten feelings of failure – she was able to remove herself from her stress-invoking environment, and continue to work, but from home. She deemed the transition from office to home as “lifesaving.”

For new mums, flexible working means they’re able to continue with their careers, of which for some have taken years of hard work and long hours.

By having the flexibility to work from home, mums need no longer resign their ambitions, submit to male-dominated fields and sacrifice their roles to raise children.

According to a study carried out by investors in people, 31% of employees would rather avail flexible working arrangements, such as working from home, rather than take a pay rise.

 

Preference, demand and technology support flexi-working, but what are the advantages?

Flexi-working provides numerable benefits for employees and in turn injects positives into businesses – see below.

Advantages for employees

  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Improved work-life balance
  • Increased morale, motivation and passion
  • Increased control over work schedule – work becomes less exhausting and repetitive, helping to relieve stress
  • Reduced expenses such as fuel and lunch costs
  • Increased sense of achievement and empowerment
  • Rewarding results – flexible times that can help boost work quality
  • Flexible around home commitments

Advantages for businesses

  • Increased employee productivity
  • Increased employee retention – saving costs on recruitment and training
  • Reduced business costs that incur from tardiness, doctors’ appointments and sick leave
  • Increased employee satisfaction, boosting performance and staff retention
  • Increased work drive from employees
  • Employees become more ambitious, from being given more independence
  • Increased work quality – employees working at most creative hours
  • Overall morale booster

Studies have proven a negative correlation between a lack of flexitime and a company’s performance. Thus, businesses – if not already – must adapt to the technological times. For if businesses fail to change their model, then it may be their employees who makes changes.

 

Will flexi-time mark the beginning of the end?

With gadgets and gizmos being spat out every other day, the technology maelstrom is all-consuming. Flexi-working will reward employees with a four-day weekend and a working wardrobe that consists of nothing else but PJs. However, further technological developments may be worrying for employees.

AI may just go where no other human has ever gone before. Google’s Larry Page has said that “the amount of jobs available for people will decrease as technology progresses.”

 

It’s not all doom and gloom

Despite such concerns, experts are offering out some much-needed reassurance to employees: if as predicted, the world does become AI dependent, then robots will need supervising, and that’s where mankind will step in.

Change is imminent, and for businesses and employees to survive, both must embrace the digital revolution via flexi-time, new developments and AI-learning to stand a chance.

 

Does your business implement flexi-working? Comment below with your thoughts on four-day weekends and working from home.