Businesses which embrace flexible working have an opportunity to coax additional productivity out of their employees, it has been claimed.
Writing for London Loves Business, Sophie Hobson explained that the ability to work non-standard hours, or operate away from the office, can benefit both organisations and their workers.
Firstly, she pointed out that flexible working enables employees to make better use of their time.
Ms Hobson stated: "The idea of flexible working is that employees are given the opportunity to work to the rhythms that best suit their productivity peaks and troughs throughout the day, other work commitments withstanding.
"By definition that means they are likely to be more productive in the hours they choose to work."
But she claimed that better use of time, leading to improved productivity, is also facilitated by employees being allowed to be more physically flexible.
Ms Hobson said that if staff members are able to work in the location that best suits them on any given day, they can reduce travel time and get more done.
Tied into this is the notion that flexible workers are able to enjoy a better work-life balance.
"The flexibility to have greater ownership over their own time gives employees the opportunity to level out their work-life balance," she stated.
"Fitting in those personal commitments and working at more convenient locations means the beginning of the end for 10pm finishes, huddled over the office PC to get those last touches done on presentations or that last batch of emails sent off."
She said it is difficult to underestimate the positive benefits this can have on a team member’s life, particularly if they are a parent.
Ms Hobson added that flexible workers tend to have lower stress levels, and as a consequence, are able to deliver greater output.
Since people are more in control of their time, they feel less like they are making sacrifices for work, she noted.
"Stress doesn’t only inhibit the pace of work - it tends to up the number of sick days in an organisation too," Ms Hobson added.
"We all know stress wears down the immune system - not to mention leave taken directly because of stress. It’s very simple: ensure that more employees are at work, and are happy and unstressed while working, and productivity goes up."
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Posted by Sarah Parish