What are the benefits of working flexibly? Many are well documented – a healthier lifestyle, avoiding the commute, a better work-life balance. But what about avoiding boring colleagues or those fellow workers with unpleasant habits? According to a new survey from workspace provider Regus, these ‘push’ factors are highly influential when it comes to deciding how and where we work.
With the option of flexible working now a right for anybody who has served 26 weeks or more for an employer, professionals are presented with more control over their working patterns. And it seems that, for many, working flexibly provides a much-needed escape from less agreeable office companions.
More than a third (35%) of UK professionals agreed with the statement that “flexible working means I don’t have to put up with colleagues’ unpleasant personal habits”. And 31% agreed that “flexible working allows them to avoid boring colleagues”.
Aside from offering a welcome bolt-hole, the lifestyle benefits of flexible working were reiterated by respondents; 41% identified flexible working as a key factor in enabling them to eat more healthily, and 71% stated that they have more free time to get out and meet people – whether professionally or socially.
Richard Morris, UK CEO of Regus comments: “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 that, 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.
“It is important for employers to recognise both the pull and push factors affecting employees’ flexible working requests and to devise working patterns that enable individuals to produce their best work on a consistent basis.”