Jobs: Flexible workers don’t go the extra miles

Employers are increasingly cottoning on to the fact that workers who don’t have spend so much time commuting will put in longer shifts.

The Olympics proved to many companies, especially London ones, that it was possible for employees to be productive without physically turning up to the same office every day.

According to workplace provider Regus, which has centres in Milton Keynes, Hemel Hempstead and Luton, nearly half of professionals based in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire already work flexibly.

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That doesn’t just mean home working but working from different locations.

Regus reckons that the option to work more flexibly helps employees reduce the cost and stress associated with commuting and reclaim the hours lost in limbo between their work and home lives.

Steve Purdy, UK MD at Regus said: “Confirming previous Regus research linking happier and healthier workers to greater productivity, more than half of professionals say they would devote at least some of the time saved on gruelling commutes to working more. So the benefits of flexible working are twofold, on the one hand workers are more relaxed and healthy and on the other they are also more productive benefitting the business too.”

Other time saved is used for family time and fitness activities like going to the gym, Regus says.

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Unsurprisingly perhaps, Regus reckons more companies would benefit from having a flexible working culture. But the firm says many workers’ aspirations to reduce the frequency of their commute are thwarted by employer attitudes. Company office culture is one blockage.

Mr Purdy added: “Even without this summer’s events, those who commute to London – and other UK cities - are only too familiar with the stress, expense and long hours associated with relying on public transport infrastructure. Employers in the three counties may find that the temporary changes they make this summer could lead them to reassess their attitude towards the fixed workplace in the future.

“Across the country, the number of professionals that are able to choose between different work locations is substantial. But there is still much progress to be made to help all workers benefit from more flexible conditions. This is especially true when the win-win benefits of slashing commutes are analysed.”