Is flexibility the key to health and well-being?
According to Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study, £57 billion is lost in our economy each year due to lost productivity. So is flexibility the key to health and well-being?
Trying to make £57 billion turn into zero would be a tall order. This week nationwide focus is on flexible working as part of National Work Life week. We think it’s only right to highlight how empowering employees can make a huge difference.
Flexibility is a much talked about subject, which is now enshrined in legislation. As of 30 June 2014, all employees have the statutory right to request flexible working after six months (26 weeks) of employment service.
However, according to a study by Britain’s Healthiest Workplace in 2015, which surveyed over 32,000 employees, 73% of companies still do not offer flexibility.
Cloudbooking are pleased to say this is a tide that is thankfully changing. But it will of course take time. With staff costs for British businesses costing around £4 billion every year it is in the employer’s interests to keep good workers happy. Many employees cite flexibility as a key condition of employment. However in a great range of highly trained sectors, there is every reason to grant it.
The hard evidance
Evidence is increasing to show that companies who treat their employees well and trust them to thrive. We would ask you to consider how much better a happy employee is going to be for your business than one who feels under stress by an overbearing employer who doesn’t trust them? The answer seems obvious. Happiness, of which flexibility is a key component, leads to higher productivity, less sick leave and keeps staff in the job they enjoy rather than scanning online for a better employer.
Technology for creating a flexible workforce is already here. The barriers preventing this happening are no more. Flexible working is the future but it is still relatively new. After all, most homes in the developed world have only had access to the Internet for the last 20 years, so let’s not expect overnight change.
Rather than berate those who have not yet joined the flexible working revolution, we must be persistent. We must listen to their arguments and address their concerns. We have to convince the majority that a flexible working model is a sensible step forward for all of us. Only then will the old office 9-5, 5 day a week model, be consigned to the annals of history.