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Work flexibility raises productivity

patri    (Posted: August 21, 2019)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

In many companies, flexible working still isn’t very widespread. There is suspicion and mistrust at allowing employees to work out of the office, which is seen as a privilege that can be abused. In many work cultures, the people holding senior posts still have trouble trusting their teams. For this reason, the need to be physically seen at work is currently still very prevalent.

Work flexibility and working from home

There are studies that demonstrate that work flexibility raises productivity. A scientific study on productivity conducted by Nicholas Bloom, economics professor at the University of Stanford, revealed that:

  • Working from home increases productivity by 13%.
  • Workers who have the opportunity to work from home report more work satisfaction.
  • Occupational burnout decreases by 50% for people who work from home compared to those who work in the office.

Work flexibility improves work-life balance and personal wellbeing, thereby having a positive impact on labour productivity.

“Try letting your employees work from home on a small scale. It is low risk and easy to put into practice, companies usually learn a lot from it.”

Nicholas Bloom (Founder of the Movement 1 Million for work flexibility)

Work flexibility and corporate saving

According to data from AMAT and the social security, in Spain, in the year 2018, the cost of sick leave amounted to more than 14,400 million euros in salaries.

Work flexibility and the power to decide on schedules and work location, amongst other things, allow the worker and the company to save money both on transport and on sick leave costs.

If employees are able to work from home or work remotely, they are less likely to take a day off sick. If the worker has to go to a medical appointment near to their house, they will probably not waste as much time as having to commute to get there from the office, which means they will be able to get on with their work quicker. This results in an improvement in overall performance and productivity.

How to improve work flexibility to raise productivity?

Put documents on cloud

The use of laptops and smartphones means that employees can access information via cloud. Nowadays, it is not necessary to save documents on a specific computer. Using cloud enables the work location to be more flexible. 

Introducing multiple online channels of communication

These days, there are countless ways of communicating. From mobiles, to email, to online videoconferences and company chats using different tools. Holding meetings outside the office is possible without the need for the whole team to be there.  Moreover, meetings, despite being online, can help to combat the feeling of loneliness that teleworking can bring.  

Use co-working space or make office security flexible

The use of coworking space enables the choice of schedules and offices. When the company has its own offices, one option is to make employee start and end times flexible, as well as office security. Thanks to online security it is possible to have video surveillance cameras in remote offices, so there is no need for a 24-hour security team. It is not necessary for someone to be keeping an eye on the entrance and exit times of the employees.

Using collaboration tools and project management 

Implementar herramientas de project management ayudan a combinar flexibilidad y productividad. Facilitan la mensajería instantánea, la posibilidad de compartir documentos de forma segura y de revisar cuándo se han completado las tareas.

Implementing project management tools helps to combine flexibility and productivity. They facilitate instant messaging, the ability to share documents securely and to check when tasks have been completed.

Work flexibility improves productivity, helps to retain talented workers and reduces costs. Furthermore, promoting home working can help to reduce negative effects on the environment caused by transport.

If you want to find trustworthy employees or collaborators who are responsible and used to working independently and flexibly, please inform us of your needs, and we will be happy to advise you.