|With more households having access to the internet than ever before, businesses must allow flexible working or risk damaging growth and staff morale|
With the latest ONS figures revealing that 39.3 million adults are accessing the internet everyday, the amount of employees demanding flexible working will only continue to rise as people have increasing access to high-quality internet.
Companies must adapt to this change in work culture or they risk damaging growth and staff morale, workplace technology specialist Condeco Software warns.
ONS figures released today show that 86 per cent of households have access to the internet, making it easier for people to work remotely. Businesses which create a technology powered hybrid office will see productivity rise, by catering for both employees who want to work flexibly and the needs of those that require a fixed-desk to complete their tasks.
In fact research from Ernst & Young (EY) discovered that £8.5bn could be added to the UK from flexible working, through more productive use of available flexible working hours. The research revealed that two out of three firms say that flexible working helps motivation, commitment and employee relations.
Paul Statham, founder and CEO of Condeco Software, commented, “UK households now enjoy almost universal access to the internet, which has grown exponentially from 2006 when only 57 per cent of households were connected.
“The impact on our personal lives is obvious, but it has also transformed the way we work. Thanks to cloud-based collaboration and unified communications services such as email and video conferencing, a laptop and internet connection is all that most people need to perform their job.
“Ninety-six per cent of UK knowledge workers that have been given the chance to work from home have taken up the opportunity, and 94 per cent would work from home twice a week if they could.
“This has transformed the office from a default place of work to a space people go to meet with colleagues when needed. Forward-thinking companies are doing away with rows of fixed desks that spend half their time sitting empty and providing their employees with bookable desks and collaboration space that can be used when required.
As access to the internet creeps towards 100 per cent, these fluid, agile working practices will become the new standard.”
The report by EY revealed that 8.7million people in the UK want flexible working, while 82 per cent of managers believe that flexible working benefits their business.
The office itself has become a more dynamic and fluid place, with increased use of flexible desking arrangements and specific spaces to support different work styles, such as quiet work or group collaboration. Condeco Software is working with 30 of the FTSE 100 companies to help these leading businesses adapt to this changing landscape.
Condeco Software has found that this new kind of office, which empowers collaborative working, has a powerful impact on productivity and morale. The workplace technology expert created its range of solutions to help businesses create an office which is smart, agile and more than just a place to work.
The solutions include its meeting room and desk booking software that makes it easy for people to book a place to work or collaborate even when they are working remotely.
Statham adds, “Sitting at a designated desk from nine to five has been the dominant image of the workplace for decades, but this way of working has become obsolete. We now live in a connected world and the office must change with this. People have become used to the freedom that greater access to the internet brings and they expect this to be reflected at work.”