Flexible working having a positive impact on the office

Flexible working having a positive impact on the office

The use of flexible working practices, such as video conferencing and BYOD, have had a substantial impact on habits within offices across the UK, new research has suggested.

A recent survey conducted by YouGov canvassed the opinions of senior executives and managers from over 1,250 small and medium businesses in Europe, North America, and Australia, about approaches within the office.  

Nearly two-thirds responded by stating that productivity among members of staff using personal devices for work purposes had improved. A significant advancement on the figure of 46 per cent recorded for the same question in 2011.

The research suggests that one of the main reasons for the rise has been the level of recognition among businesses over the effectiveness of collaboration tools such as video conferencing.

Clive Longbottom, industry analyst at Quocirca, said: "As the barriers between work and personal lives continue to come down, organisations are now in a position where the traditional fall-off in business activity in the summer can be offset through the targeted use of advanced collaboration tools.

"Video-conferencing, online meetings, web application-sharing and other tools can enable a holidaying employee to quickly and effectively resolve any problems early on and return to their break, benefitting them and their employer."

According to the report, it is the improvement in quality of tools such as video conferencing that has allowed businesses to embrace the idea of flexible working far more than at any other point in history.

Only 14 per cent of respondents said they did not notice any positive effects from flexible working, down from the 27 per cent recorded last year.

Video conferencing has clearly played a significant role in the figures, with nearly half (46 per cent) of the professionals surveyed admitting to using video conferencing, with 63 per cent of those using such tools for over a year.

The end result is that a quarter of British businesses now feel they are under more pressure to implement flexible working than they were five years ago, with many managers and employees taking notice of its positive benefits.