Forget increased productivity or a better work:life balance; for many, the main benefit of flexible working is reduced exposure to boring or irritating co-workers.
In a study by workspace provider Regus, 35% of UK professionals agreed with the statement that ‘flexible working means I don’t have to put up with colleagues’ unpleasant personal habits’; 31% agreed that ‘flexible working allows me to avoid boring colleagues’.
Flexible working was also seen to have lifestyle advantages, with 71% saying it gives them more time to go out and meet people and 41% claiming it helps them to eat more healthily.
Commenting on these findings, Regus UK CEO Richard Morris said: “Under traditional working structures people spend more time with colleagues than they do with their own family. Such an environment will always result in mismatches of personality and behaviour, which over time can potentially hamper workplace harmony and productivity. Clearly, the freedom to work flexibly is providing professionals with an escape from everyday routines and the chance to focus on their own performance and wellbeing.”
Regus’s research also suggests that flexible working can improve performance levels by giving workers a change of scene. In a survey of 2,000 business people across the globe, 56% said that it improved their concentration levels. More than half (53%) of those showing symptoms of cabin fever find it a relief to change their working environment.
Other benefits include reduced commuting time (55%) and having more time to spend with loved ones at the end of the day (46%).