Posted by

I-Wen Chiu Maginot

01 Dec 2015

The industrial revolution has come and gone, but now we are living through an age of technological innovation. It is its own new revolution that has seen the world transform into a globalised entity connected in countless ways. One of the hundreds of cultures that have been changed by the connected planet is a microcosmic one found in the humble office. The traditional 9-5 work routine is falling out of favour as the internet, smart devices and innumerable communication platforms are taking their places as essential staples to businesses. As more workers look for workplaces that can accommodate their time and travelling needs, you need to look at your policies and see what can be done to attract the new wave of flexible workers. Here are some different aspects of flexible working that you can incorporate into your business:

  1. Supply work-friendly devices – smart devices are becoming more affordable every year. From phones to tablets to laptops, many businesses are choosing to supply these for a few reasons. Aside from the uniform, smart look it can give to the face of the company, it also ensures an element of control over data as you can deploy various safety and security measures. It also helps your workers because you can provide them with devices prepared with the programmes they need for their job roles.
  2. BYOD policies – if you don’t have a budget for devices, it is easy enough to draft a policy allowing people to bring and use their own devices. Some workers prefer to use their own familiar devices anyway. If you look into setting up a secure network that is accessible to employees, it is very little effort to put this policy into play.  It also directly supplies better results from the working day, as half of managers said that employees would gain an average of seven hours in productivity each week if they were enabled to work via mobile devices. (AOL9 Government Mobile Technology).
  3. Working from home/on the move – with so many forms of communication available, workers are finding it as effective working at home as it is in the office. With managers and colleagues just a phone call, video chat, or another of the many forms of immediate contactaway, it is no longer detrimental to be away from the office while working. With readily available Wi-Fi hotspots throughout cities as well, it’s not just a choice of working in the office or at home. People are able to access their work wherever and whenever they need to. It’s good for continual productivity and it also improves your standing as a business. According to Jacob Morgan’s The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization, ninety percent of employees believe that an organization that offers flexible work environments is more attractive to prospective hires than one that doesn’t.
  4. Flexible working hours – now that working can be so mobile, employees are also looking towards making it more flexible to fit around their schedules. With the ability to work out of the office, the need for the 9-5 day is becoming obsolete. Workers who once may not have been able to work for many businesses now have that option – those with children or other needs outside of the office can organise their schedules so that they can work around their personal lives and still be productive workers.

Working on making a selection of these options available to your employees will have two effects. Firstly, you will be seen as an attractive prospective employer, visible to many more employees who specifically look for careers that afford them flexible working options. Secondly, you will be ready to embrace the future of business. It is changing every day, and it’s easy for businesses to fall behind if they don’t embrace change. Welcome the new wave of mobile workers and watch productivity and employee satisfaction soar.

All views expressed in guest blogs are that of the authors, and not of the British Chambers of Commerce.