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By stripping back inefficiencies, flexible working saves companies time, money and resources – while helping people and the planet
How would you feel if your daily working life continues at its current pace and routine for the next decade? Does the thought of it make you feel excited? Anxious? Extremely tired?
Burnout is now officially classified as a medical condition. We’re living through times where longer working hours, more international travel, 24-hour connectivity, and a culture of self-optimisation means we’re under constant pressure to get the most out of our time. An extra layer of impossibility is added for those with family commitments and health issues. It prompts the question, how sustainable is all of this?
What’s more, we know we’re all consuming too much stuff. Through their lifestyle, the average American creates a 21-tonne carbon footprint each year (for Brits it’s 11.7 tonnes). Travelling for work, commuting, eating on the go – all of it adds up. And as many of us are becoming aware of how our everyday actions and choices impact the climate crisis, it’s no wonder we’re looking for alternatives in our working and personal lives.
While there is no silver-bullet solution, it is possible for us all to take a step back and look closely at where the opportunities are to better manage our time, employees and resources more sensibly and in a more sustainable way. In many instances, adopting a flexible working culture is the answer.
For a start, the option of flexible working makes more talented people feel able to participate. Be it the option to work part-time, from home or having compressed hours, it can make all the difference to those who are experiencing burnout, parents of young children, people with disabilities or employees of a certain age. All of these demographics feel more able to apply for a position and bring their skills to a company when there is a flexible working policy in place.
Currently, just 9.8% of UK job adverts mention that the employer offers flexible working arrangements. And yet, a recent study found that 57% of full-time UK workers would like to abolish the traditional 9 to 5 working day in favour of a working culture that was more flexible and in tune with the demands of a modern lifestyle.
As we’re collectively looking for more efficient ways to get our work done, we appreciate employers who trust us enough to give us the freedom to adopt our most productive working patterns. By implementing a flexible working culture, your company gains a more diverse, fulfilled, healthy workforce – which leads to talent retention, thus boosting your business’s competitiveness.
There’s also the environmental gain of adopting a more flexible workplace culture. Rather than leasing a fixed amount of conventional office space in the centre of the city, flexible workspaces pop up in a wider choice of neighbourhoods, including suburban ones. This means shorter commute times for employees – so they spend less time spent contributing to rat-race CO2 emissions, and more time with their loved ones. Flexspace also offers the option to upscale or downscale the amount of space your company requires at different times – so you’re only consuming the resources you actually need.
By its very nature, flexible working is sustainable, because it’s about re-thinking the status quo to make things more efficient. Regus centres are optimised to meet the needs of their tenants – waste is minimised, the high-quality facilities are designed with productivity and mental wellbeing in mind, and different payment solutions are offered to suit a range of budgets. What’s more, Regus removes the headache of running an office. Staff at Regus centres are there to take care of everything, handing you back the time you’d normally spend on maintenance and admin.
Flexible working is a key pillar of a more sustainable future. The demand is there from our global workforce, and the efficiencies it brings for employers are clear. In order for it to become more mainstream – and for more businesses to introduce flexible working policies – those companies who are enjoying the benefits need to shout about it, so that others can see that it works, and so potential employees can vote with their feet by applying for vacancies with them.
We are on the right path to a more progressive, flexible way of making our businesses thrive. And our personal lives, our budgets and our planet will thank us for it.
Find out how flexible working can help you run your business more run your business more sustainably