Understanding workforce needs by providing a flexible approach to their working day

Hands up if you spent the start of your morning squashed against a train window or squeezed into a carriage alongside other unhappy commuters? If you work in London, this will sound all too familiar. Waiting for a train that is always late or a bus that’s packed so tight with commuters it’s baffling how it manages to move – this is not the ideal start to any day.

Giving your staff at least one day off from this daily grind, allowing them to work from home, would make many a commuter happy – let alone providing a hub or office space nearer to where they live so they can happily work away and avoid the trek to the office.

But this is all possible with plans and solutions in place to push forward the idea of flexible working. One not for profit organisation, Work Wise UK wants to introduce smarter working practices and created the ‘National Work from Home Day’ campaign – promoting modern working practices such as Agile, remote and mobile working.

It’s good to lead by example

Reinventing the working week is by no means easy, but the UK government is leading the way by taking a multi-pronged approach to flexible working, ensuring the best technology is in place to support the move to a modern IT infrastructure. The Government Digital Service (GDS) is transforming government and is providing the technology to make sharing buildings easier.

It may sound complicated, but this approach is paying dividends and perfectly compliments ‘working from home’ initiatives by providing employees with access to an office environment – or work hub – that may be a short drive or bus ride away, replacing the long commute into the office HQ.

To ensure these hubs are cost efficient, Matrix Booking can monitor usage and allow staff to book desks in advance. Designed by Keytree, Matrix Booking is a suite of multi-channel booking solutions enabling the reservation of rooms, work spaces and other resources, organised by a few simple clicks – and is making this approach a reality within governmental departments.

…but it may not work for all

Having the ability to work from home is only possible if the individual has the setup to make this happen – in most cases, high speed internet connection is a must have to avoid any download or communication needs. But not everyone likes change. Some organisations just dismiss the idea of flexible working and one company in particular turned this approach on its head.

A few years ago, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! decided to ban its employees from working from home – she felt at the time that the provision was easy to abuse and it was important for staff to interact in person. Speaking at the Fortune Global Forum in 2015, Mayer explained that some staff were frustrated by colleagues who were not around and this prompted her to say: “People are more collaborative, more inventive when people come together.”

Letting staff work from home or at a local hub will help businesses save money. Home workers reduce the amount of time they need to spend in the office and by creating a strategically located hub, there can be a reduction in the costly fees paid for prime office space.

Doing what’s right for the company – and the employees

Letting staff work from home or at a local hub will help businesses save money. Home workers reduce the amount of time they need to spend in the office and by creating a strategically located hub, there can be a reduction in the costly fees paid for prime office space.

There are also benefits to consider around staff morale and productivity. A study by Ravi S. Gajenran, a professor of business administration at the University of Illinois highlighted the gratitude remote workers have towards their employers. Gajendran said: “They feel compelled to go above and beyond to make their work presence more visible, to make themselves known as assets. In fact, they almost overcompensate by being extra helpful, because they know in the back of their minds that their special arrangement could easily go away. So they give a little extra back to the organisation.”

There are pro’s and con’s for all options with trust being the paramount concern, but it’s not just a case of what you can do for your company – let’s consider what your employer do for you? The UK government is walking the walk and leading by example, and there is no reason why the business world shouldn’t be doing the same – the technology is ready, and all that’s needed is the commitment to make the change.

Explore how else Matrix Booking can help you

Employees can search for desks in any of your buildings or shared hubs, find colleagues, make bookings for their team, and more.

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People can find rooms that meet their needs, including location, facilities, capacity, and accessibility. Add equipment, and other essentials. 

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Efficiently manage visitor sign in systems across your sites, ensuring a secure welcome and clear communication of health and safety procedures.

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Ready-made reports help you keep track of occupancy levels, usage trends, and more, so that you can continually optimise your estates. 

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