A new study has found that 79 per cent of Australian SMEs report higher levels of employee productivity as a result of flexible working practices.
The study, conducted by Regus, surveyed over 16,000 senior business managers around the world and analysed the impact of working habits on both company performance and employee well-being.
Among the Australian businesses, results show:
- 78 per cent of businesses of all sizes work more flexibly now (in terms of time and location).
- Globally, small businesses (81 per cent) have embraced flexible working more readily than large companies (67 per cent).
- The majority of Australian firms believe flexible working has a positive impact on employee health and morale, with 59 per cent saying employees feel healthier and 64 per cent saying they feel more energised and motivated.
- Although small and large businesses in Australia agree that they generate more revenue working flexibly (69 per cent and 61 per cent, respectively), SMEs are more convinced that productivity is a direct result of flexible working (79 per cent) than large businesses (63 per cent).
Regus says its results are evidence of the positive connection between flexible working and improved productivity and revenue generation.
“Our results clearly demonstrate the positive benefits of flexible working on businesses and their employees, with 64 per cent of firms saying their staff feel more energised and motivated,” Regus Regional Vice President of South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, William Willems, said. "Flexible working is also acting as a valuable employee attraction and retention tool, helping businesses to minimise staff turnover and assist in finding new talent.
“With the Australian Productivity Commission highlighting the importance of adopting flexible working practices to close the productivity gap between Australia and other countries, this survey confirms the business case for flexible working and the positive impact this has on company performance and revenue.
“As workforce expectations and demands continue to evolve, flexible work is becoming an attractive option for workers looking to achieve a better balance between work life and life. With the rapid developments in technology and network improvements helping to drive this demand, flexible working is now emerging as the norm rather than the exception."
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