Specialist insight

The workplace revolution: a picture of flexible working 2017

The workplace revolution: The way we work is changing. Freelancing is on the rise, companies are expanding internationally and technology is helping employees stay productive wherever they are. It’s now easier than ever to put our businesses on the map. And there’s been an increase in flexible working hours and telecommuting like we’ve never seen before.

As more companies seek to reduce overheads and grow overseas, the movement towards flexibility offers an exciting opportunity. Shifting employees to smaller satellite offices, co-working spaces and bookable meeting rooms close to their homes or clients means that businesses can drive their company growth without forking out for the global real estate.

The changing
world of work

New technologies are making it easier than ever to create intercontinental workforces and put our businesses on the global map. Employees are looking to use this new connectivity to create a better work-life balance and to make their daily output more efficient.

Our latest survey shows how this change has already started, and reveals many of the ideas and motivations behind the flexible working revolution.

Remote working on the rise

54%

54% of global respondents already work remotely 2.5 days per week or more.

83%

83% of executives plan to increase their use of flexible employment in the coming years, meaning these numbers are set to rise.

The global context

Working mothers, ageing populations and young workers seeking flexibility are changing the nature of the global workforce.

6%

Returning mothers

13%

Older workers remaining beyond their pensionable age

19%

Outsourced suppliers

22%

Part-time workers

29%

Freelance workers

30%

Consultants

33%

Other

The role of technology

New Cloud technology, better Wi-Fi and modern communication tools mean we’re on call 24/7.

Messaging tools used in the previous month:

Online flexible working tools used in the last month:

Relishing remote work

As these tech advances help employees take their work with them, they’re increasingly seeing the advantages of flexible workspaces.

Reasons global business people plan to work remotely in the coming year:

59%

Be closer to clients and prospects

56%

Improve concentration

55%

Improve travel schedule

53%

Improve productivity

51%

Attend events and training sessions

46%

Improve morale

46%

Be closer to my family

39%

Be closer to members of my team

38%

Get away from noisy home

37%

Get away from noisy office

34%

Because I am working overtime

29%

Be close to suppliers

Limitations of home working

Remote working can be challenging: 45% of global survey respondents say they find it hard to concentrate at home.

Top home working grievances globally:

49%

Family demanding attention

45%

Difficulty concentrating

40%

Family/pets disturbing phone calls

30%

Lack of office equipment

29%

Household noises

22%

Slow/unreliable internet

10%

Personal financial cost

The future

Working remotely is not synonymous with home working:

Just 36%

of telecommuters are based at home.

Business people working remotely 2.5 days a week or more:

As companies move to more flexible working practices, their workspaces will become smaller, more numerous and more global.

Main drivers of flexible working in the coming year:

51%

Businesses wanting to save reduce office costs

44%

Working demanding to work close to home

41%

Workers demanding to work remotely

38%

Businesses wanting to be more agile as they seek to grow

37%

Businesses avoiding fixed leases

35%

Businesses wanting to scale staff numbers more flexibly

35%

Businesses wanting to be more reactive to market changes

25%

Businesses hoping to improve staff retention

24%

Businesses hoping to attract top staff

19%

Businesses expanding abroad

Workers get the freedom and productivity benefits of remote working without the downsides of being at home. All while companies boost their productivity, reach new markets and reduce overheads.

For more information about finding the perfect space for your business, download our app or head to our website.