Significant numbers of the global workforce are now working remotely, with nearly 70 per cent of employees across the world ditching their traditional office set up for alternative workspaces at least once a week.
The study by global workspace provider IWG into flexible working which surveyed over 18,000 professionals across 96 countries pointed to what IWG says is a ‘tipping point’ for flexible working.
Just over half (53 per cent) of global employees said they work away from the office for several days a week while more than one in ten said they worked remotely up to five days a week.
Mark Dixon, CEO at IWG described the remote working trend as ‘hugely exciting’. He said: “People from Seattle to Singapore, London to Lagos no longer need to spend so much time in a particular office… This is a huge shift in the workspace landscape globally, and businesses are now looking closely at what this means for their corporate real estate portfolios.”
The survey identified a number of business benefits to flexible workspaces with the majority of respondents agreeing that it helped with top talent retention (80 per cent), recruitment (64 per cent) and job satisfaction (58 per cent). 91 per cent also agreed that flexible workspaces improved productivity.
But Sarah Robson, senior communications consultant at Aon said employers would need to work harder and smarter with their internal communications to ensure employee engagement levels were maintained.
“Remote working demands a more multichannel approach to communications,” she said. “For example, using video content can ensure a higher level of engagement due to the use of visuals, sound and imagery.”
In particular, Robson urged employers to adopt a ‘smarter approach’ to communications, via a multi-channel or omni channel approach at a time which ‘resonates best with employees’.
She added: “Overall, remote working is a good thing for engagement levels because the employee enjoys a better work/life balance. The physical distance however can cause a problem and to close the gap, employers need to work harder to connect back with employees in a more engaging, personal way.”
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