No More 9-to-5

More than two-thirds of global employees work remotely every week, and over 50% do so for at least half of the week, heralding a major reassessment of corporate real estate, according to a new global study from workspace specialist IWG.

The emergence of this mobile workforce has been driven by technological change, globalization and changes in employee expectations, according to IWG, the parent group of leading workspace companies including Regus and Spaces.

IWG has released a study based on the insights of over 18,000 business people across 96 companies.

It found that every week 70% of employees are working at least one day a week somewhere other than the office. More than half (53%) work remotely for half of the week or more, whilst more than one in 10 (11%) people work outside of their company’s main office location five times a week.

The study by IWG also found that businesses recognized that offering flexible working strategies to their employees provided them with significant benefits:

  • Business growth (89% – up from 67% in 2016)
  • Competitiveness (87% up from only 59% in 2014)
  • Productivity (82% up from 75% in 2013)
  • Attracting and retaining top talent (80% – up from 64% in 2016)
  • Profit maximization (83%)

For generations, the world has understood office-based work to involve a fixed location and a 9-5 schedule. But an unprecedented number of businesses are now adopting a very different working model, which produces benefits for them and their workers.

The IWG survey found that flexible working not only reduces commuting time, but enhances productivity, staff retention, job satisfaction and even creativity. This is in addition to the financial and strategic advantages that it brings for businesses.

Creating a happier, more productive workforce

The move to flexible workspaces reflects the changing demands and expectations of the workforce. 80% of those surveyed agree that flexible working helps them retain top talent whilst 64% are now offering this to help them recruit. Over half (58%) agreed that offering flexible working improves job satisfaction, demonstrating the need for businesses to provide working environments suited to today’s employees to maintain a first-class workforce.

The benefits businesses are experiencing are clear: a resounding 91% said that flexible workspaces enable employees to be more productive while on the move.

Everyone is demanding ‘on-demand’

The survey showed also that flexible working and the use of shared workspaces are no longer the preserve of start-ups. The world’s most successful businesses – including varied companies such as Etihad Airways, Diesel, GSK, Mastercard, Microsoft, Oracle and Uber – are already adopting a flexible workspace approach.

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