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Workers no longer need the office to be productive

Posted: 1 Jun 2017

 

Ten years ago, remote workers were few and far between. Many bosses and employment experts attested that the office or physical workspace was necessary for productivity. It is an idea that endures. Even now, for every time a remote worker is asked, "Do you spend all day in your pyjamas?" they are also questioned on how they are able to concentrate at home.

However, a new survey seeks to settle the debate altogether and suggests that not only is flexible working efficient, but it is increasingly popular among employees. The survey, which was conducted by business communications company Fuze, found that 80% of workers did not think they needed to be in an office to be productive.

Moreover, despite 85% of respondents stating that they wanted the opportunity to work from home, currently only 45% were allowed to do so, which signifies a significant disparity between job expectations and reality.

The reasons cited by applicants who wanted to work from home will be familiar to HR professionals and hiring managers; a better work-life balance, freed-up time and improved finances through the riddance of the commute were all popular explanations. As Kris Wood, vice president EMEA at Fuze explains, it is clear that today's workforce "is keen to break free from the constraints of traditional working practices."

Conversely, while Wood notes that "the availability of technologies that allow internet-based calling, video conferencing and live chat means it's never been easier to create a highly collaborative workforce outside of the office", 48% of respondents stated that their employer did not currently provide the technology necessary to work efficiently and effectively.

Some 43% of workers state that they would do more work if they got to stay home, yet the study also uncovered a desire to work in various locations. In Germany, 32% would like to work from a café; 38% of Australians dream of working from the beach; and 18% of Americans want to answer emails while still tucked up in bed. Meanwhile, in typical British fashion, 28% of us would like to work from the pub – and 7% of us already do!

Flexible working is fast becoming essential for candidates, especially those in the marketing sector – has your company considered implementing it yet?

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