A survey of over 100 freelancers, small business workers, and corporate employees has found that flexible working could provide the key for delivering growth and productivity for businesses and improving people’s wellbeing in the future.
In the survey — which asked people about their work patterns in an attempt to shed light on what the future of work could look like — almost 95% of respondents believed or strongly believed that if people have control over how and when they do their work, they are generally able to perform more effectively.
Over 76% of respondents also agreed or strongly agreed that working from different environments such as home, coworking spaces, or a change in office location, enables them to be more productive.
More than 75% of respondents believed that businesses could operate more effectively by using more agile, self-employed temporary resources, and 87% felt that businesses could lower their costs by employing more flexible models of working and distributed teams.
Moreover, a whopping 95% of respondents agreed that people can be trusted to work without supervision if the right support is available which, overall, shows a positive shift in attitudes toward flexible working.
Han van Oudheusden, co-founder of collaborative coworking space Works Social, added: “The data we’ve had back has been fascinating. We wanted to challenge the notion that ‘flexible working doesn’t work,’ and we’ve done just that. There is undoubtedly an appetite for greater flexibility in the workplace, and while flexible working and coworking are fast emerging concepts, they are not yet fully understood and there is some education to be done, but it’s coming.”
In terms of getting the most out of a talented UK labor market, Ross Cox, CEO at Dispace, commented on what this means for the future of work:
“I agree with the 95% of our respondents who felt we should be focusing our attention on delivery and effective communication without the need for set hours, days, and locations for getting work done. To improve productivity and create a positive sense of wellbeing among employees, we should make it easier for people to be employed by increasing our use of teams that work remotely and with flexible hours.”Ross Cox, CEO of Dispace
The survey was curated by a collaboration of flexible workspace, coworking, and digital nomad ambassadors Dispace, Works Social, and Big Old House. It explored people’s attitudes to the changing world of work from freelancers to full-time employees, inviting respondents to share what their version of work looks like.
“For businesses to be successful in the future, they should be providing access to a range of workspace solutions that suit the current and future needs of an individual on a day-to-day basis,” said Cox. “That might be reliable technology, coworking, remote teams, virtual meetings. or sharing time between home and office working.”