New research by global workplace provider Regus shows that the increasing need to improve employee work:life balance is driving up flexible working. But, businesses also have a strong interest in encouraging flexible working as it is seen as a way of creating agile organisations that are better able to cope with rapidly changing market conditions.
According to the research, canvassing the opinions of over 44,000 business people from more than 100 different countries, 61 percent of respondents report that the need to improve work:life balance is driving the increase in flexible working. Almost half (48 percent) say the wish to work closer to home is also a key factor.
The survey also highlights that nearly half of businesses are moving towards flexible working in order to become more agile and better placed to respond to market changes. Flexible working in fact allows firms to expand or retract rapidly and without incurring in hefty penalties. Firms using flexible working are also better placed to attract talent from a wider pool, especially if they comply with best-practice employee flexibility standards.
Commenting on this workplace concept in Sri Lanka, Regus Sri Lanka Country Manager Dr. Nirmal De Silva said, “This research confirms that flexible working boosts efficiency and cuts costs, as businesses can reduce underused office space and operate in a more agile way, making decisions on a per-needs basis. While the drivers for flexible working may differ for businesses and employees, both stand to gain. The fact that businesses are already benefitting from flexible working to increase their agility is good news. In addition, helping employees to find a more satisfying balance between their personal and professional lives creates a healthier and more productive workforce.”
Key global findings
Half of respondents think that more workers demanding to work flexibly to be closer to home (48 percent) is driving up flexible working;
32 percent say that the need to combat the rising cost of commuting is a key factor;
Firms wishing to comply with best practice employee flexibility standards (31 percent) and those wanting to attract staff from a wider talent pool (29 percent) are also driving take up of flexible working;
Giving employees the opportunity to work closer to home also helps tackle the issue of leasehold under occupancy (17 percent) as businesses are able to reduce fixed office space costs when these are underused.
Delving into this concept from a Sri Lankan perspective, achieving a flexible work environment would no doubt appeal to working mothers who seek to allocate for themselves a private working space or even for full-time students who work as freelancers or professionals such as consultants. The concept of working at such work-friendly settings through Regus would also invoke IT professionals and companies who hire staff to meet time-bound projects to opt for office solutions that would only promise optimized business growth. Regus Sri Lanka has a network of flexible workspaces at strategic locations in Colombo and suburbs enabling any type of organisation irrespective of whether it is a start-up or MNC the opportunity to experience flexible and easily accessible working conditions.
Regus Business Centres are currently located at the World Trade Centre (WTC) in Fort, GPD Building on Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7, McLaren’s Building on Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 4, Lotus Building on Nawala Road, Nawala and Bernard’s Business Park on Dutugemunu Street, Dehiwela. Any prospective customer who can access any of these locations can benefit from minimal travel stress from their residences to the workplace thus attributing to maximum work productivity as a result. Through the research and analysis that Regus constantly engages in, the company has come to a realization that this concept undoubtedly provides a solution to a growing need in the present corporate world.