Flexibility Becoming A New Norm In The Workplace

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 24, 2015

home office

At a time when finding and retaining top talent are some of the key predictors of a company’s success, workplace flexibility is viewed as a necessary tool to increase employee satisfaction and productivity. A research commissioned by Polycom shows that one of the top business objectives for all organizations is to better enable the workforce through the right tools and technology solutions, allowing employees the flexibility to work from anywhere.

According to the study conducted by Virgin Media Business, China is the most advanced country in allowing and enabling staff to work from any location, on any device (69 per cent), closely followed by the United States (63 per cent). The study also showed that these nations lead the world at 48 percent of companies in each country – well above the global average of 29 per cent. (Click here to find the infographic.)

More than 90 percent of employees in the U.S. work remotely at least once a week with Virgin Media Business predicting that globally, 60 percent of office-based employees will regularly work from home by 2022.

The study also found that nine out of 10 of Generation Y identify flexibility in the workplace as a top priority, further driving the trend.       Two out of three of the world’s most effective leaders are unwilling to re-locate. Moreover, nearly 70 percent say remote working is critical to relieving work-related stress. At present 30 million people work from home in the US, a number that Virgin Media Business predicts to increase by 63 percent by  2020.

According to Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School, the future worker has three key criteria for their technology whether at home or at work: flexibility, autonomy and ease of use. The result will increase productivity and job enjoyment.

Experts believe, workplace flexibility programs that are treated as part of a company’s strategy can generate cost savings, talented worker pools, increased efficiency, and more satisfied employees.

The hiring marketplace has become extremely competitive in recent years, and truly skilled college graduates now can have the pick of the litter when it comes time for them to choose new employers. According to a Cisco 2014 Connected World Technology Report, more than 60 percent of workers report that their current or future job searches will not be limited to their hometown, or even their home country. That means the fight for talent is now a global one – and workplace flexibility remains key in determining the best-in-breed employers.

The report says, workers value flexibility over almost anything else. Those surveyed indicated that flexibility was the second most important factor, after salary, they would consider when evaluating a job offer. Two-thirds of millennials said they felt an organization that  adopts a flexible, mobile, and remote work model has a competitive advantage over the regular 9-5 office hours.

The Polycom study shows that with the transition happening in the workplace, video collaboration is being deployed by leading edge companies across the globe, providing employees the flexibility to effectively work from anywhere and connect face to face to share ideas, learn and solve problems.