February 26, 2018
An article in The Daily Telegraph has advocated the embracing of flexible working by businesses, for reasons of both staff happiness and technological progress.
The article cites the statistic that 82 percent of workers working remotely claim to be less stressed than their office-based colleagues, whilst also reporting that staff would take an 8 percent pay cut willingly if it meant working from home. Similarly, the article reports that one in four Britons will spend 712 hours commuting to and from work every year – the equivalent of almost thirty days.
Yet the piece goes on to explain that thanks to modern technology, remote working can be achieved without sacrificing communication or efficiency, and specifically highlights UC – unified communications – which merges the fixed line of a business with its mobile line, creating a platform for instant messaging, voice, video, and audio services.
Mike Constantine, the Chief Technology Officer at GCI, a communication and technology services company, said: “Simply put, flexible working makes employees happier. A recent report suggested that 91 percent of remote workers believe they achieve more when working remotely, and the same survey found that, on average, flexible workers were rated 81 percent happy, 7 percent higher than their office-bound counterparts. With benefits such as this, we should all be asking if things can be done differently.”
He added: “In most cases UC is the enabler to make flexible working happen.”
A 2017 report by British insurance company Aviva stated that 63 percent of employees would be more likely to stay with their employer, if they were offered the choice of flexible working, which would mean lower turnover rates and a stronger, more cohesive company culture, from the employer’s perspective.
“One of the most in-demand employee benefits is flexible working,” concurred Nigel Davies, the founder of Claromentis, a digital workplace software business. “There are additional time savings when working from home – avoiding office distractions and pointlessly long meetings being two examples. Digital workplace technology can replicate the office environment virtually by relaying internal news updates, hosting shared team calendars and connecting people through instant chat and video conferencing apps. It also acts as an access point to collaborative projects and documents. In short, it stops remote workers from becoming ‘siloed’ or feeling alienated when working away from the office.”
Stuart Templeton, the head of Cloud-based messaging service Slack, said: “A confluence of broad shifts in enterprise technology and work culture means the way we communicate and interact with one another at work is changing in a profound way, including a transition to messaging and mobile, and a real demand for transparency within organisations.”
“Today’s workplace is less confined by physical offices, the time of day, hierarchy, and structured schedules,” he continued. “Teams are the key drivers of productivity at work. If companies want to retain talent, increase productivity, and stay ahead of the competition, it’s important they focus on enabling their teams through better communication tools and improved access to information.”
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