By Penketh Group Insights Team
15th May 2017
One of the biggest changes in the world of work in recent years has been the Increase in flexible working.
Flexible working essentially offers employees more choice over when and where they work. This may include a flexible work schedule, or in the case of mobile workers – working from home or alternative spaces such as cafés.
By embracing flexible working, you can give your staff an increased feeling of choice and control over where and how they work, which in turn contributes to a better work/life balance, increased wellbeing and ultimately a more engaged and productive workforce.
We believe you don’t necessarily need to leave the workplace to get the same benefits, and in fact feel the workplace can offer a lot more advantages in terms of flexible working. By offering a variety of workspaces that are suitable for the different ways in which we work, employees won’t need to work from home to get peace and quiet for focused work, or go to a café to experience the social atmosphere that people are looking for.
Make your space work harder
Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever and as a result it is not essential for every member of staff to each have an ‘owned’ desk. By reducing the number of allocated desks, you can create opportunities and use your space in new and innovative ways.
For example, in the Nomadic area in our Worklife showroom, we have illustrated how 18 people can be accommodated within an area that would traditionally fit 12 people if it was set out as a traditional bench desking setting. This was done by introducing a variety of settings for informal collaboration, focused work, high table and stools as a touchdown space – resulting in a dynamic workspace that caters for different modes of work, within a limited floor space.
It encourages innovation
By embracing flexible working, employee performance is judged more on the output and quality of work, rather than the time spent at a desk in the office. By giving your staff the freedom to think and work differently, you can foster a culture of innovation.
Ideas and innovation aren’t limited to the meeting or boardroom anymore. The best ideas often flow when people are in a more comfortable and relaxed environment – resulting in an increasing trend for more home comforts being incorporated within the work environment, like the Flex Sofa and Orly chair shown in the pic below.
Improved wellbeing and work/life balance
According to a study published in October 2016, British employees work an average of 38 working days above their paid contract every year. 41% admit they feel it’s the only way they can do their job properly.
The rise of the open plan office has done great things for collaboration but presented a challenge for people wanting to do focused or private work. By recognising the need for a variety of workspaces – such as the privacy offered by the Harc from Ocee Design or the escape and rejuvenation offered by the Massaud lounge chair by Coalesse, shows you care about staff wellbeing.
By helping people focus, collaborate, socialise and rejuvenate within the workplace; they can be more productive and engaged while they are at work, avoiding the need to put in many extra hours from home – ultimately giving a better work/life balance.