More than a quarter (28%) of UK respondents value being able to choose their own work location more than having an increase in their holiday allowance, according to research by flexible workspace provider IWG.
Its Global workspace survey, which polled 15,000 respondents across more than 80 countries, including 2,153 professionals in the UK, also found that 58% of UK respondents see organisational culture as the main barrier to implementing a flexible workspace policy, which is defined as the ability to choose and change workplace locations. Furthermore, 43% stated that fear of how flexible working may impact the overall organisational culture is the biggest obstacle.
More than four-fifths (82%) of UK professionals plan to improve talent retention by introducing flexible working; this is particularly pertinent as 30% of respondents revealed that they would prioritise being able to work flexibly over having a more prestigious role. In addition, 81% of UK respondents believe that flexible working improves work-life balance.
Mark Dixon (pictured), chief executive officer and founder at IWG, said: “Last year, our Global workspace survey talked about reaching a tipping point, but what we are seeing now is that flexible working is considered by many to be the new norm for any business that is serious about productivity, agility and winning the war for top talent. Indeed, half of all our respondents claim to work outside their main office location for at least half of the week.”
Among those in the UK, 73% feel that flexible working has become the new normal, with 80% believing they would choose a job which offered flexible working over a job that did not. Over the past 10 years, 84% of UK organisations have implemented a flexible workspace policy or are planning to adopt one.
Half (50%) of UK professionals state that they work outside their organisation’s main location for at least half of their working week, while for 70%, a choice of work environment is a key factor when evaluating new career opportunities.
Almost two-fifths (37%) of UK respondents think that official working hours should include time spent commuting.
Dixon added: “Businesses around the world are facing multiple challenges, including ensuring that their business is agile enough to adapt to change. Our research shows that businesses that haven’t already considered the financial and strategic benefits of [a] flexible workspace need to do so now.
“Otherwise, [employers] face being seen as out of touch, both with their competitors and with the demands of the modern workforce on what constitutes a great day at work, which means losing out on the best talent.”