62% of British office workers feel that they would be more productive if they could spend time outside of the work place, and only a third of UK employees (35%) still want to work in the office every day of the week, according to a report by Randstad.
Furthermore, over half (58%) of Brits would like to work flexible hours rather than a standard hours working week.
In light of this, 50 British businesses are teaming up to showcase flexible working to staff, encouraging other companies to adopt similar strategies.
The companies, including RED Driving School, Purple Bricks and Orlebar Brown, have joined the Smarter Working Initiative, launched by Powwownow to illustrate the benefits of allowing staff to alter the hours and place that they work for one day.
Seeing the benefits of flexible work, other companies have been influenced by the Dutch approach, where employees work for four days a week. Commenting on this is Laura Davis, Managing Director of Reality HR: “There are many benefits offset by having one day of the week off. We don’t believe it has to be a Friday or a Monday necessarily, but rather that the individual returns to work feeling refreshed and less stressed. Having the extra day at home means they are more productive at work.
“I think if you get teams to work together on this you get a much more engaged workforce. The flexible working they are privy to is breeding loyalty, as well as helping them work more cohesively as a team” she says. This also supports the report by Powwownow which says that 70% of British employees feel that they get on better with colleagues if allowed to work flexibly.
Jason Downes, Managing Director of conference call company, Powwownow, says: “As a company we really understand the benefits of flexible working, not just for our employees but for the business as a whole. Having a happier workforce really means having a more productive and motivated team that gets things done and drives a successful business.
“Many companies think flexible working is hard to implement or that it is a huge step, but it doesn’t have to be. All there needs to be is trust between a business and its employees and a clear set of objectives with regular catch ups.”
"Technology now exists for people to work from home and be efficient while staying in contact with other members of staff and external partners. iMeet for example, is our tool which allows all forms of remote working together for flexible working, from video conferencing and live chat, to file and screen sharing. Not being able to get in contact with somebody is not a feasible excuse.
"All the things businesses need to make it work are there and business leaders need to take advantage of them and this is what the Smarter Working Initiative aims to do.”