The future of work
Flexible working has gathered momentum in recent years as employees and employers begin to realise the wide-ranging benefits of a more relaxed approach.
According to a recent poll carried out by YouGov, only 6% of employees in the UK are working the traditional hours of nine to five, while just 14% of employees would opt for those hours if given the choice.
Simply put, flexible working is any type of working pattern which differs to an existing one.
Catering for individual needs
Flex hours give employees a say over when they want to start and finish work, meaning they can be at their desk – in an office or at home – when they feel the most creative, while also reducing factors such as non-attendance and tardiness.
It could even mean a move to annualised hours, where working time is organised around the number of hours to be completed over a year, rather than over a week.
All employees in the UK now have the legal right to request flexible working, providing they have worked at least 26 weeks with the same employer.
In addition to the options above, flexible working styles could include:
- Compressed hours: Normal working hours are completed in fewer days
- Staggered hours: Different start, break and finish times for employees
- Flexitime: Fitting in your normal hours around agreed base times
- Remote working: Working and clocking in agreed hours remotely
Work is no longer a physical place
You only have to look at the growth in the collaboration and video conferencing sector to see just how prevalent flexible working has become and how companies are changing their policies and procedures, while investing in software and services to accommodate this change, as work no longer becomes a physical place for many in employment.
The conferencing and collaboration market has a compound annual growth rate of 35% globally – growth numbers only surpassed by social networks in recent times. Business is adopting this technology en masse as their workforce and supply chains become more distributed. The advantages of being able to hire from a larger talent pool as geographic boundaries disappear, but the need to keep everyone engaged and available.
A happier and healthier workforce
Behavioural science teams have long established that there are ‘morning people’ and ‘night people’ when it comes to work and application. Giving employees the freedom to choose their preferred hours, while fitting in daily commitments, means they will be working when they are at their freshest and most productive, and appreciative of the freedom to do so.
Indeed, the 2018 Global Talent Trends study found that 51% of employees wanted their employers to offer more flexible work options, while a similar percentage craved a greater focus on well-being – including physical, psychological and financial health.
Remote working will also cut costs in several areas, such as expenses for travel (train fares and petrol costs) and fewer desks at headquarters, along with the associated overhead. Meanwhile, virtuous circles are created as companies lower their carbon footprint; by cutting back on transport, paper and utilities, among other daily office occurrences, they are more attractive to a millennial workforce.
Taking advantage of new tech
However, when it comes to remote working, employees need quality tools at their disposal if they are to collaborate as efficiently at home as they would in an office environment.
A recent survey conducted by communications and connectivity specialist PGi (Premiere Global Services, Inc.) revealed that almost 90% of professionals use online collaboration tools at least once a week.
Slack, a company than did not exist in 2008, now has 10 million active daily users and is used in over 150 countries, providing a workspace for employees to share ideas and tackle projects in thread-based conversations.
But nothing can beat face-to-face communication.
With the rapid development of mobile internet, video collaboration and communication is more convenient than ever. Flex and remote workers can check in with project managers, HR teams can converse with candidates in several locations in one day, and digital freelancers can work from the comfort of their own living room.
And this is where we come in.
Gather will help you thrive
By adopting Gather’s video conference and collaboration software, you can ensure that your business has the ideal package to support the modern-day worker in a vast number of situations.
We provide high-definition web and video meetings, conference calling and SIP meeting rooms for reliable connectivity and collaboration, all with automatic video and voice recording, transcriptions and AI-led data collection, offering contextual records and analytics of meetings held across the business.
Interested? We invite you to explore our new website, where you can check out Gather’s unique features and register for a free account. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Good things happen when we Gather…