Regus, the global flexible workspace provider, recently commissioned research into the ‘world of work today’. They canvassed the opinions of over 20,000 senior managers and owners in business, on how widespread remote working has become, including its frequency, location and how it is managed.
Unsurprisingly the results from the survey indicated that flexible working is on the rise with 50% or workers now stating they work 2.5 days more out of the office. Moreover, almost a third say they work in different locations across the same city whilst a quarter state they work in other cities.
Technology has a large part to play in the flexible working revolution with the advent of smartphones and apps and ‘cloud’ services. Workers are now able to work just as efficiently out of the office as they are in it using ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ or VOIP for calls and instant messaging apps like WhatsApp for quick conversations with colleagues.
But technology isn’t the only driver – another important factor is worker demand. More and more businesses are reporting that they are seeing more consultants and freelancers populate the workforce, so it is unsurprising that the demand for flexible workspace is also on the rise. If you combine this with an ever-increasing need to find a better work-life balance, you have the perfect recipe for a mobile workforce. Businesses stand to benefit too with the reduction in fixed office costs and fixed leasing arrangements.
More and more businesses are adopting a flexible mindset when it comes to managing remote workers, but their views on how to achieve good management are surprisingly traditional; rather than simply investing in IT systems to track staff productivity, they reveal that conducting regular meetings (videoconferencing and in person) and telephone calls are proving critical. Instant messaging is also seen as a key way of keeping teams connected.
While flexible working is becoming the norm and is widely regarded as highly productive and beneficial to client relationships it is important to note that it should not be regarded as synonymous with home working. Working from home in fact carries several perils as the distractions can be damaging for productivity. But flexible working is undoubtedly on the rise, with demand set to increase through to 2020 and beyond.
Over the past ten years, Regus has invested in analysing working habits and behaviours in the world of business. From where people work, to when and how they manage their work. Regus has also analysed the demands of workers, what makes them tick and what they do to try and reconcile the demands of their professional and personal life. The company is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace solutions, with a network of 3,000 locations in over 1,000 towns and cities, across more than 100 countries, serving 2.3m members.
Through their range of office formats, as well as their growing mobile, virtual office, and workplace recovery businesses, Regus enables people and businesses to work where, when, and how they want, with a range of price points. Their customers include successful entrepreneurs, start-ups in addition to multi-billion dollar corporations.