Our Perth Coworking space has seen an influx of requests from businesses offering flexible working terms and encouraging their staff to take space in local Perth coworking centres.
Thanks to the pandemic, the term “flexible work” is being discussed by local Australian businesses and all types of corporations around the world. So let’s talk about flexible work is and why it’s here to stay.
So what is flexible work?
Flexible work is defined as giving employees “the opportunity to make their own choices as to when, where, and how they engage in work related projects and tasks.” Flexible working is also known as work-life balance or friendly culture.
Top Flexible Working Benefits
Covid and the subsequent shutdowns it caused around the world prompted many companies to quickly pivot and adjust how they conducted business. Flexible working is beneficial for both the company and employees. Here are the top reasons flexible working is here to stay.
Flexible working benefits employers in the following ways:
Increased Employee Retention
There are many reasons people prefer a flexible work schedule. Here are the most popular:
- Work-life balance
- Time savings
- Reduced commute stress
- Avoiding office politics and distractions
- Travel (business trips)
Workplace flexibility is quickly becoming more important to employees. Smart employers will recognize these needs and provide a flexible work environment for their employees. As a result, they may have a better retention rate than companies that don’t offer this option.
Flexible work may help employees achieve a healthy work-life balance. This could help increase productivity and boost overall performance. A Deloitte survey found that increased productivity was one of the top benefits of flexible work schedules.
Offering flexible work opportunities not only improves retention, but it can also be a great incentive to attract quality employees. A Flexjob survey found that when it comes to work flexibility, millennials prefer the following:
- 84 percent want more work-life balance.
- 54 percent want to work a flexible or alternative schedule.
- 50 percent would be okay telecommuting some of the time.
- 48 percent of millennials are looking to ditch commute stress.
Millennials (those between the age of 25-40) are estimated to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Determining the work preferences of this large segment of the population can be key to recruiting (and retaining) top talent.
Employers aren’t the only people who benefit from flexible work programs. Here are the top flexible work advantages for employees.
Reduced Commute Time
Working from home can save money on commuting costs. It can also allow for more time spent working and being productive. Working from a local coworking space can also allow you the freedom to still have a relaxed office environment, without having to travel far from your home.
A survey of our Perth Coworking space members showed that 90% of employees believe flexible work arrangements and schedules would increase workplace morale. Many of the Soto Co members believed that if businesses offered more flexbile arrangements, including working in local coworking spaces, everyone would be better off.
‘I work a couple of days a month at the Soto Co Perth Coworking Space and it has really helped me reduce stress. I go into the office 3 days per week, and I get to work from home in between. So I get this perfect balance of seeing my friends & managers in the office, completely removing commute time and cost by being at home, and I get to meet a bunch of cool new people at the Perth coworking space that I can brainstorm new ideas with. It’s been a great transition and I am proud of our management team for getting behind it’. Sara F, MDA.
Less Overall Stress
Flexible work schedules may help decrease overall stress levels for employees in several ways:
- More quality time spent with family (taking care of kids, spouse, caregiver, etc.)
- Less time embroiled in office gossip/politics
- Less money spent on commuting with more spent in other areas
- Increased ability to handle other obligations
An ASA study found that employees in a pilot work flexibility program voiced “higher levels of job satisfaction and reduced levels of burnout and psychological stress” than employees within the same company who did not participate.
So where does coworking fit in?
The large increase we are seeing in interest from businesses wanting to offer their staff time in a coworking space as part of their flexbile working arrangements is driven by the need to ensure work life balance. It is now not just a buzz word, but an active practice that employers are taking part in.
They are using shared offices like our Soto Co Perth Coworking Facility to bridge the gap. Too much time out of the office could be detrimental, purely because of the human connection element. So coworking spaces offer a way to give them an inexpensive, local desk – with plenty of happy, healthy human interaction.
Businesses are also taking advantages of benefits such as membership perks programs or rewards systems that coworking spaces offer. Coworking spaces offer access to local events, and personal development courses. Our own space has burger & wine Friday, where members can snack on delicious burgers from Meet & Bun whilst tasting new vintages from local vintners Clandestine Vineyards & Break Free Wines – definitely a crowd favourite event.
This is where the offer of spending a few days a month, or even a week in a coworking space can offer significant benefits for both employer and employee.
The Bottom Line
As both employers and employees discover the benefits of flexible work schedules, their popularity will continue to increase. Whether it’s the savings from commuter costs, increased productivity or improved morale, flexible work programs can be a win-win for both a company and its employees alike. Combining both flexible working arrangements with a coworking membership – can be the ultimate combination needed to keep employees and employers alike happy, productive and engaged.
Find out more about Soto Co – Perth Coworking Space and Community Hub