Flexible working trends hitting an office near you

28 January 2016. Features.

Flexible working trends are becoming standard practice in every kind of industry. Smart companies are adopting a new approach to where, when and how their employees get the job done and this is proving to be beneficial to both them and their employees.

This is how flexible working trends hitting an office near you are making work, work better:

How You Work

‘Agile working’, as an umbrella term, describes these changes in the employer/employee relationship which are helping to make staff happy and productive and the companies they work for flourish.

Also described as a ‘trust trend’, these new work practices, which give employees the freedom to manage their workloads as trusted and respected adults, are helping organisations to attract and retain great personnel.

For that reason, many employers who’ve seen the benefits of adopting agile working practices are just as keen to adopt new technologies which secure and increase the happiness of their employees and that includes making work, fun!

Some companies are taking this idea a step further and introducing the ‘gamification’ of the workplace. Companies like Google are providing gaming spaces in their offices. Not only does it give employees the opportunity to unwind and socialise, it makes it possible to structure training programmes in an engaging and innovative way.  This is not however just for the ‘big’ companies, market researchers are predicting that the ‘gamification’ industry will grow by nearly 70% in the next 3 years.

Where You Work

For some, the daily commute on any mode of transport to spend the day in an office feels like little more than a form of paid imprisonment, but a combination of new technologies and new attitudes to working is giving people the opportunity to work in different places.

Advancing technologies such as better Wi-Fi, mobile devices and Cloud storage make it easy for employees to access information and complete tasks efficiently from anywhere at any time, making it possible for people to work from home, offsite at a hot-desk or even during their commute.

Despite growing freedom from offices, they are likely to remain the hub of operations if they develop in to purposeful dynamic work spaces to become a place where employees look forward to spending time there.

Cleverly designed work areas like those incorporated into the offices of JustGiving include break-out rooms, creative hubs, social areas and even isolation pods that are all equipped with power outlets and Wi-Fi.

Their imaginative approach to structuring the office environment gives employees the flexibility to move around and work on or offsite in whichever environment best suits their workloads.  Pretty soon by creating such a vibrant and diverse workplace it encourages more vibrant, happy workers with more creative ideas. Just Giving is a big advocate of the ‘trust trend’ and by treating their staff as trusted and respected adults, attitudes, cultures and outputs can only get even better.

When You Work

Even when employees love their job, conforming to set office hours every day can be a source of unnecessary stress, particularly for employees with family commitments. Most employees put in extra hours every week and the lack of flexibility from employers can easily become a source of frustration and disappointment.

Employers who facilitate flexible hours, either through split-shifts, job shares or variable hours contracts, make it easier for employees to work independently and do a good job in the hours that work best for them.

This freedom places responsibility onto the employee for managing their own workloads and achieving a healthy work-life balance at the same time. Although employers are now legally required to offer such a scheme, some companies are extending those freedoms above and beyond their legal requirements.

Companies such as Netflix and Virgin are building their empires on the premise that when employees feel good, the whole business is good too and as a result, they now offer their employees unlimited amounts of annual leave. Due to this policy, staff “morale, creativity and productivity have all gone through the roof.”

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