While many employees thrive in a traditional work environment, certain types of jobs lend themselves well to working in a more flexible setting. According to a study conducted by Statistics Canada in 2014, the increase in employees who enjoyed a more flexible work situation remained steady between 2000 and 2008. Smaller studies in recent years indicate that more people each year are making use of different strategies to do their jobs without having to spend much time in a traditional office. Here is why this flexibility is a good thing for the employer as well as the employee:
What the Employee Gains
The ability to telecommute and make use of a virtual office when there’s the need to meet with clients eliminates the need to get up every morning and deal with the dreaded rush hour traffic. Instead of arriving at a workplace feeling frazzled, it’s easy to prepare for the day, log in to the employer network, and start in with the day’s tasks.
Another benefit the employee will enjoy is the opportunity to adjust work schedules when the need arises. If a doctor’s appointment is scheduled for the morning, it’s easy enough to log in and manage tasks or respond to emails that need immediate attention. The rest can wait until the appointment is completed and offers a sense of personal freedom and control over time that may not exist in the traditional office setting.
Telecommuting also allows employees to find the ideal work/life balance. This is important for those with spouses or partners who work unusual hours or parents who would like to be free when the kids return from school. Eliminating the need for travel to and from the workplace provides more time to spend with loved ones and still ensure all the day’s work tasks are completed in a timely manner.
What the Employer Gains
Employers also stand to gain quite a bit from a more flexible work arrangement. One of the immediate benefits is the ability to operate the company with a smaller central office. With more employees working from home and using virtual offices when the need arises, there’s no need to occupy an entire floor of an office building. A suite of just a few offices will do nicely. The decrease in operational expenses alone is enough to improve profitability.
Employee turnover also decreases with this type of work setting. Think of the expense associated with training a new employee and how long it takes to recoup that investment. Employees who with flexible work environments are more likely to be happy with their jobs and less inclined to seek opportunities elsewhere. The employer is equally happy because the staff is relatively stable and becomes a more cohesive working unit.
When some employees work from home, location is no longer an issue. In fact, it can become an asset. Consider what happens if a client who is several hundred miles away requests to meet with a company representative. If the employer has someone who happens to live in the vicinity, it’s easy enough to make use of that virtual office for the meeting. There’s no need to worry about reserving a flight or book hotel reservations. That remote employee can set up the meeting, take care of it with ease, and ensure the customer remains happy.
Creating a more flexible working environment has the potential to benefit everyone involved. Along with aiding employees with structuring a home office and establishing policies and procedures for remote working, talk with the team at Agile Offices about establishing a virtual office environment for those employees. The process of selecting the ideal combination of services will not take long and the arrangement will pay off in a big way in the years to come.