Gone are the days of the 9-5. We now have the technology to organize our work around achievement rather than physical location, boundaries or time, but is this a good thing?
According to Gartner, we are seeing the growing up of mobility as it becomes increasingly controlled and managed as part of corporate architecture and strategy.
If we take a look at the evolving mobility and flexible needs of some of the Fortune 500 companies, we will find that flexible working can really transform a business. It offers a range of commercial benefits including overall productivity gains, reduced property costs, improved customer response time and greater employee satisfaction.
But flexible working isn’t just about working away from the office. It’s no longer necessary for teams to be located in centralized workplaces. Considering where our customers are or where the best people can be found hot-desking allows people to use their office space much more efficiently.
Flexible working also allows drawing on a much broader talent pool. It also provides opportunities to talented people whose disabilities or personal circumstances prevent them from taking office based jobs.
The second discovery was that companies are rightly concerned about security. This is one of the ‘cons’ of flexible working. More and more corporate data is being held on mobiles devices and Gartner for example has warned repeatedly that portable storage devices pose a serious security threat.
A survey conducted by a mobile technologies company earlier this year entitled Mobile Device Security at Airports found that, the mobile phones or laptops that were handed in airports lost property offices around the UK one in four had absolutely on them, Staff could simply switch them on, start them up and access everything they held.
More than 80 per cent of the companies interviewed said that they would choose their flexible working supplier on the basis that they could deliver security for both fixed and mobile workers.
Flexibility All Round:
The last thing which is important for everyone is that the organization and its employees should know how to use the off button on a device.
Human beings have the upper hand on technology and our business gives people the permission to switch off.
It’s important to have flexibility on both sides. The company should give people as much freedom as they can to choose when and where they work. Naturally, there are limits we have to meet the needs of our customers after all but in most cases, the decision should be left to the individual. As long as the work gets done on time and the customer is happy.
In return, the company expects people to respond flexibly as their business’s needs change. In today’s competitive world, staff attendance may no, longer be paramount but staff availability is. Volumes of work vary as projects come and go, demand fluctuates and so on. To ensure delivery, flexible people are required people who are prepared to tackle new tasks and adjust their hours when the need arises.
No matter what your business is, there is a growing need for flexibility. And an investment in flexible working is a good place to start.
Telecommuting is another option. Here employees work at home, usually with computers, and use phones and the Internet to transmit letters, data, and completed work to the home office. For example, Best Western Hotels in Phoenix used the residents of the Arizona Center for Women, a minimum-security prison, as a telecommuting office staff, and Dell has call centers in India.