Technology has significantly impacted the corporate environment: Not only is the tech itself making waves, but the Millennial generation that grew up with the tech is now entering the workforce. While it has created a few challenges, tech holds the power to resolve business concerns as well. For example, recent research has shown that the younger generation places more value on flexible working than previous generations. As more Millennials make up the workforce, companies can benefit from providing employees with the perks they value the most.
Flexible working is not only desirable to these younger employees, as it can provide numerous benefits to the employer and company as well. Financial Times contributor Tim Smedley recently reported that more business leaders are discovering the benefits of flexible working as well. As technology continues to shift attitudes about how work is done, SMB decision makers can leverage tech such as a virtual business phone system from AccessDirect to equip employees with the tools they need for flexible working.
Value of Supporting a Flexible Work Environment
A study conducted by the Institute of Leadership and Management demonstrated that attitudes about flexible working are changing, with 77 percent of chief executives and 54 percent of senior managers working remotely on occasion themselves, The Financial Times reported. In addition, 82 percent of managers indicated that their business only stands to benefit from enabling flexible working, specifically citing increased productivity as the main advantage. Kate Michell, head of operations at management consultancy firm Hudson & Yorke in London, told the source that she has observed a change in business culture over the last five years in part because of this new working paradigm.
“I’m very careful about the emails I send and construct, because I know they generate activity by others,” Michell said. “It’s about setting realistic acceptance levels. If you have a thought at 9pm and it makes you feel better to stick it into an email and get it off your chest, that’s fine; but if you receive it, there is no expectation that you respond to it. Because I work this way, my team know that they, too, can work this way. You get a happier team that produces more because they’re not having to fit their life in before nine in the morning and after five at night.”
Flexible Working Solutions
A hosted PBX system from AccessDirect is one tool that is ideal for enabling flexible working. Service can be added to existing mobile phones so that employees can maintain business communications regardless of their physical location. Additional advanced features like the Find-me/Follow-me service makes sure all calls are forwarded to the appropriate line and individual employees never miss a beat. The fax-to-email and voice-to-email features allow employees to check all email messages using a smartphone, and AccessDirect’s virtual PBX system channels all business communications to one spot.
A recent SurePayroll blog post explained that as the summer is fast approaching, many business owners should consider whether to offer summer flex hours to employees. This practice is typically done in order to allow people to take advantage of warmer weather by changing their schedule to work longer days earlier in the week so that they can enjoy more of their Friday. As more businesses are attaching value to flexible working, taking this one step further to offer flexible working schedules could prove advantageous to businesses as well.