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How flexible working improves work/life balance

Since the pandemic, businesses have experienced a lot of rapid changes.

 

For many millions of office workers around the world, they went from commuting and working in an office every day to working from home, almost overnight. Entire office buildings stayed empty for over a year, and colleagues could only meet virtually on (video) calls.

 

This ‘forced’ change has prompted a lot of internal reviews of how business is conducted and has led to a seismic shift for many employees around the world. Last year, a Mercer study found that 70% of companies said they were planning to adopt a hybrid model of home and office-based work.

 

Comfone was amongst the companies who made this drastic change in 20202. Staff adapted quickly, and we were able to continue delivering full service to all of our customers. This change had a long-term effect on the company, as we have since implemented a flexible working policy to give staff the option to work from home 2 days per week.

 

Comfone has always prided itself on allowing staff to have some autonomy at work, with flexible working hours policies, part-time working options, mobile working and home office for staff members.

 

What are the benefits of flexible working structures?

There is a lot of research surrounding flexible working, with the overwhelming majority of research in favour of such a model.

 

In this blog, we will be discussing the benefits of flexible working structures and the impacts they have on both staff and businesses.

 

Building trust

Building trust

Feeling a mutual trust between employer and employee is vital to empower people to take their own success. When somebody owns their achievements, they can better push through adversity, take responsibility for their performance and enhance their own leadership skills.

 

Trust decreases stress and burnout in the workplace, and increases employee loyalty and retention. According to research published by Harvard Business Review, workers at companies where trust is high report 106% greater energy, 74% lower stress levels, 76% greater engagement and 50% more productivity than their peers at low-trust businesses.

 

It also can help to build creativity and even makes for a more productive environment.

 

Creating autonomy

Flexibility in the workplace allows employers and employees to make arrangements about working conditions which suit them.

 

An employee that is allowed autonomy is self-motivated, inspired to achieve and more likely to engage with work. The inevitable result is a boost in productivity. Self-aware, free- thinking employees are setting out to achieve professional goals in their own way. Setting priorities for customers’ success is of outmost importance for the success of the company.

 

According to Quantum Workplace, 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated. Employee recognition boosts morale, improves productivity, and is a proven driver of employee engagement.

 

Boosting morale and motivation

Boost morale

Giving employees a greater sense of autonomy about their working day helps to promote feelings of trust, higher job satisfaction and an improved sense of work/life balance, which can boost morale.

 

Employee morale is significant because it is tied directly to important things such as employee engagement, job satisfaction, employee retention and overall productivity. According to a survey with Mental Health America, FlexJobs found that respondents with flexible work options have an increased work-life balance and better emotional support.

 

Reducing fatigue and stress

Fatigue and stress are two factors which may cause employees to lose focus and underperform. It can lead to a lack of motivation, apathy and lack of energy, making the workplace an uninspiring place to be.

 

By introducing flexible working hours and providing a chance to spend time working from home in a familiar, comfortable environment which can help to alleviate feelings of stress. A change of scenery has been proven to increase creativity and bring about new, exciting ideas.

 

Reducing/removing the stress of commuting time gives the employee more time and energy to put into sport, personal well-being, and more time dedicated to projects, personal or professional.

 

What have we learnt about flexible working?

At Comfone, we pride ourselves on our company culture, which creates a positive working environment that includes both staff and customers. We enjoy building excellent relationships with our customers and partners, helping us to provide award-winning customer support.

 

Having a good balance by working from home and in the office is the perfect combination to maintain a strong company culture.

 

Our staff turnover is very low, with many of the team members working with Comfone for 5, 10, 15 or even 25 years! This reflects how our staff feel about working for Comfone, and also ensure that knowledge and expertise built over the years stays within the company.

 

Flexible working methods really help to reinforce the message that a job is a two way relationship, and provide important benefits to both the employer and employee for a long-lasting union.

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About the author

Hattie Boggis

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