A study of 1,000 business professionals, commissioned by co-working company, The Brew by rent24 has found 65 per cent of office workers that don’t currently have options for flexible working claim that they would be more motivated and productive in their jobs if given the option to choose their working hours. The poll also found that only 18 per cent of workers at small and medium-sized businesses already have flexible working arrangements, falling to just 14 per cent for 18-34-year olds.
When asked why they felt that choosing their own working hours would make them more motivated and productive, 65 per cent said that it enable a better work-life balance, while 68 per cent of 18-34-year olds and 60 per cent of all respondents put it down to being able to work during the times of day when they naturally have the most energy and concentration to be productive. There is a genetic basis for worker’s body clocks, which is different for everyone. Employers might want to consider the productivity benefits of flexible working hours, with studies showing that ‘night owls’ (and workers who aren’t early risers) often having lower “brain connectivity”, poorer attention, slower reaction times and increased “sleepiness” when made to work a traditional 9-5 work day.
The collected data also revealed 72 per cent of 18-24-year olds and 53 per cent of all respondents in the study also said that flexible hours would help them get a better night’s sleep or be less tired at work. More than 1 in 4 (27 per cent) of respondents said that they would be more motivated and productive at work due to flexible hours as it would give them greater flexibility to manage their mental health and wellness. A further 30 per cent said it was due to making them feel more trusted and appreciated, while 26 per cent put it down to being able to better manage (and be less distracted by) responsibilities outside of work, such as childcare or walking the dog.
Andrew Clough, CEO, The Brew by rent24 comments: “How people want to work is changing and our survey highlights that many employers are overlooking the benefits of flexible working, such as employee motivation and productivity. Not only can it help create a better work/life balance and allow for increased feelings of being trusted and appreciated, but allowing employees to work when it suits their needs could also have a significant impact on their alertness and have important mental health and sleep benefits which in turn yield a happier and better performing workforce.”