In a 24/7 connected world these changes in attitudes to work run deeper. The lines between work life and personal life are getting blurred. Work Life Integration has become the new norm. Just 25% of the 18-30 workforce expect to work regular office hours, and around one-third expect to work mainly flexible hours according to a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey.
Another study by VMWare discovered that 39% of employees would change their jobs if “Bring Your Own Device” policies (allowing staff to work using their own computer, smartphone or tablet) were unavailable.
Here are five reasons your business should seriously consider improving work life integration for your employees.
1. Better use of time for everybody
You may not have realised that a one hour meeting with ten attendees actually costs your business ten hours of lost productivity. Factor in time spent preparing for the meeting, travel to and from the meeting, and then any debriefing required after it, and you could be looking at many more hours.
With better work-life integration your team can participate in a virtual meeting using Google Hangouts from their home, desk or wherever they might be with colleagues, partners and clients. More importantly staff can join the virtual meeting when directly relevant. And leave when they no longer need to participate. In this way you can minimise “wasted” time and boost productivity.
An employee can now complete their morning briefing in a hangout from home before travelling to the office after the rush hour. Technology boosts their productivity, and integrates work into the way they live.
2. Reduced business costs
Maintaining an office is a significant cost that will only increase as your headcount does. Using Google Apps it is easy to create a “virtual” workforce who have all the tools they need to work from anywhere on any device. Work life integrated working will also instantly mitigate many of the weather-related problems that have crippled UK businesses in recent years.
3. Simplified legislation compliance
All employees now have the legal right to ask their employer for flexible working provisions. Often employers are forced to reject these requests because traditional technology is prohibitively expensive, restricted to office use, preventing employees from working the way they live.
Cloud computing allows your employees to access the tools they need using nothing more than a web browser. Better still, Google Apps for Work is perfectly affordable – far cheaper than taking the traditional Microsoft approach to remote working.
4. More efficient working
By providing staff with the flexibility of working from home, they also begin to bear the burden of many secondary costs like electricity, heating and broadband. Employees will also naturally gravitate towards using their own devices and software because they are more comfortable with them and they are usually better than work provided devices.
Reports indicate that using their own devices boosts employee productivity, reduces training costs and improves employee mobility - all valuable enhancements for better work life integration.
5. Flexible working and employee health benefits
A study quoted by the British Health Foundation found that work life integration not only helps employees with their professional and personal lives, but also greatly improved their overall health. Increased energy levels reduced risk of emotional exhaustion and improved mental health conditions all help to create a more effective workforce.
“Our study shows that moving from viewing time at the office as a sign of productivity to emphasising actual results can create a work environment that fosters healthy behaviour and wellbeing,” said the study’s author Professor Phyllis Moen.
To learn more about flexible working and how Kimbley IT can improve your company’s work life integration, contact us.