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Flexibility, productivity, profitability

72% of South African companies report that their productivity has increased as a result of flexible working practices, and 68% link increasing revenues directly to flexi-working, according to new research from global workplace provider Regus. The research surveyed over 16,000 senior business managers around the world and it is believed to be the first time that independent research evidence has validated the causal connection between flexible working (time and/or place of work) and improved productivity/revenue generation.

Respondents also report feeling more energized and motivated thanks to flexible working (68%), perhaps indicating why they are able to become more productive and generate more revenue. Flexible working, by improving worker morale and health, is therefore also taking on the important role of talent retention tool, providing businesses with a valuable way of rewarding and attracting resources.

Other interesting findings are:-

· 76% of respondents declare that they work more on the move than they used to.

· 64% of respondents say that workers in their company feel healthier thanks to flexible working.

· 86% of respondents expect a surge in the number of people that go part-time at some point in their career path.

· Large businesses have embraced flexible working more readily than small with 82% of workers saying that their company works more flexibly than it used to compared with 77% of small business workers.

Kirtsen Morgendaal, Area Director at Regus notes, “Technology and network improvements as well as worker demands for a better work/life balance have driven flexible working to become the norm rather than the exception. This survey confirms the business case for flexible working revealing that global businesses see increased productivity and greater revenue generation as directly linked to flexible working practices.

“Business people are also working on the move more than they used to, making the availability of work centres in every city an increasingly attractive proposition, particularly to small businesses that cannot rely on a network of company offices when they leave their headquarters.

“In addition to these benefits staff report feeling healthier, more energized and more motivated which in turn means that staff are happier in their jobs, more loyal and less likely leave. A recent study of South African employers and employees confirms that more than 40% of both groups reported a massive improvement on personal performance when a mobile working model was put in place.[1]