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Flexible working will improve economic results

Companies around the world are experimenting with flexible working. In the end, wouldn't it be better to let the employees themselves decide on it?

Flexibility as a competitive advantage.

LinkedIn Editor-in-Chief Dan Roth recently published that nearly three-quarters of employees say flexibility is their top priority.

A major realignment in employee demands means that working anytime, anywhere must be part of a competitive strategy. There is no one way to work today. Flexibility is therefore important and can no longer be ignored.

Impact on company profitability.

Providing flexibility has obvious benefits for employees. There is a lot of costs conected to flexibility, it comes with costs. At the same time, flexibility can lead to financial savings and ultimately strengthen the company's bottom line.

Achieving such a result requires a proactive and thoughtful approach that involves entirely new ways of thinking.

The introduction of flexible measures from above often runs into different expectations of employees and can damage mutual trust. More works when attention is paid to human needs and providing resources that enable flexibility.

Flexibility can start with something as simple as letting staff choose shorter shifts to handle children who come home early during distance learning.

The message you send is "we trust you", that works well.

The same author, Dan Roth of LinkedIn, notes experiments with flexibility. For example, a company-wide week off at the beginning of July or around the New Year, no-meeting Mondays, or untouchable rules around emails after work.

Such practices build empathy and respect. Especially when you let the team come up with their own rules about flexibility and remote work. The message you're sending is "we trust you" and that works well in the long run.

Some companies are not yet ready for flexible working, so they cultivate a hidden risk. Recent data confirms this. More than half of employees worldwide would leave their jobs if they were not given significant flexibility.

Companies are trying to develop their culture and adapt. They need flexible thinking and support employee confidence, and data to back it up. Together they then discover what works best for their environment.

Data-driven decision making.

Technology is evolving and today it measures the intensity of collaboration in teams. Based on the data, the employer can better organize internal meetings, size offices, influence the work of managers and more.

Figure 1: Overview of the total time in the organization spent in different types of meetings. (source: Microsoft Viva Insight - Advanced Reporting)

The employer can also predict the optimal sizes and numbers of meeting rooms or the entire internal operation. With this procedure, it will better meet the changing requirements for the flexible functioning of the entire organization.

Figure 2: Planning offices and work zones with advanced features in Microsoft Viva Insights.

The technology that ensures such management of flexible work is called Viva Insights and you can find it in the Microsoft Teams environment.

Viva Insights contains a wealth of analytics and recommendations. For planning flexible work at the level of the entire organization, we most often use a service called Organization Trends.

You can explore more Viva Insights technology here:

Source: This post was created using an article titled "What Does 'Flexible Work' Really Mean?" on the Microsoft Lab site, which was published on October 20, 2022.

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