A major new report published this summer suggests a change in workplace practices to include more flexible and home-based and flexible working could bring about an £8.1bn boost to Britain’s economy through reduced costs and greater productivity.
The report, The Flex Factor, from think tank RSA and Vodafone UK, is based on a nationwide study of thousands of bosses and employees. It states that some five weekly hours’ productivity could be clawed back – that’s over £4,000 annually for each staff member.
Equally, the study reports that smaller businesses in particular, who want to reduce overheads while maximising the potential of their staff teams, are leading the way in the shift to increased flexibility at work.
Already nearly half (46%) of employer organisations usually give staff access to a business laptop computer, while a tenth provide tablet devices and a quarter offer use of a Smartphone.
Well over three quarters of British workers are employed by organisations offering some type of flexible working arrangement, but a significant minority of over a tenth who want flexible working are either not given the chance or are not aware they can request it.
Nearly 65% who had worked flexibly claimed their job satisfaction had improved as a result, the survey also revealed.
It seems that the challenge is now for all organisations to think of how different workplace practices could slash outgoings while maximising time, space and resources.
While flexible work isn’t just about being home based (it covers, for example, varying start and finish times) home working is a big part of it. And it brings many benefits, from being able to pop on a wash at lunchtime to being there when the children get home from school to eliminating the slog of commuting.
If you work at home, even for some of the time, it’s important that you are properly geared up to do so without distractions and without, say, having to clear away the dining room table for mealtimes.
Part of that means having the right home office furniture in place.
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