Businesses which do not have a flexible workspace policy risk losing out on top talent, according to a recent survey. The findings show that 83 per cent of people globally would choose a job which offers flexible working over a job that didn’t, and almost a third (28 per cent) people value being able to choose their work location over an increase in holiday allowance.
IWG Global Workspace survey has released a study based on insights of over 15,000 professionals from a range of different industries in over 80 countries. In India, the survey found that 61 per cent office-goers believe that official working hours should include time spent commuting to and from work as this is not free time for workers.
Also, 41 per cent said commuting to or from work is the part of the working day which they like the least.
In light of these findings it is unsurprising that in the past 10 years, 85 per cent of businesses have introduced a flexible workspace policy, or are planning to adopt one. The findings signal that, when it comes to dictating what an average working day entails, there has been a power shift towards the employee.
Yet about 60 per cent of those surveyed says that changing the organisational culture is the main barrier to implementing a flexible workspace policy, particularly within businesses that have a long-standing, non-flexible working approach. Over a third (41 per cent) say that fear of how flexible working may impact the overall company culture is the biggest obstacle.
Flexibility not only makes workers happier and healthier but makes workforce more productive: 85 per cent of businesses globally and in India confirm that productivity has increased in their business because of greater flexibility.
Two thirds (67 per cent) of those surveyed reported at least a 21 per cent improvement in productivity as a result of flexible working. These figures are given greater weight considering the UN states that the global slowdown in productivity is one of the most prominent features of the world economy in recent years.
No more commuting?
The findings also show that two-fifths of people worldwide see commuting as the worst part of the day (40 per cent globally and 41 per cent in India) and more than half of respondents believe that it could be obsolete in a decade (2030).
Almost half (48 per cent globally and 46 per cent in India) of workers spend their commute working, and as a result, nearly half (42 per cent globally and 61 per cent in India) think that official working hours should include time spent on their journey, as this does not constitute ‘free time’ in their day.