By Paschaline Nwandiko
Vice-Chairman of Regus, a firm that provides workspaces, Mr. Ayo Akinmade has said that plans have been concluded to enhance productivity by connecting 2.5 million like-minded professionals with its workspaces.
Akinmade, who said this in a chat with newsmen, said in Nigeria, Regus operates in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt and offers businesses all essential facilities that enable employees improves their productivity, enhance job satisfaction, talent retention and business performance.
He said: “When employees are asked to prioritise their preferences when it comes to workplace perks, 80% said that when faced with two similar employment offers, they would turn down the one that didn’t offer flexible working.
In addition, 54% said that having a choice of work location was more important to them than an increased holiday allowance, suggesting that workers will deal with the daily grind, as long as they know they’ll have a little flexibility about where they can tackle their to-do list.
“The development of new technologies has long meant that many of us should be able to work anytime, anywhere. The challenge for businesses has been how to make the most of these new opportunities.
“Many companies have been quick to realise the benefits of flexible working, which not only allows employees to work in huge numbers of locations around the world, but also improves productivity, job satisfaction, and talent retention and business performance. Indeed, many employees now consider it to be the “new normal” when looking for the next step in their careers – the demand for flexible working is increasing year on year and is showing no signs of slowing.’’
Speaking on knowledge-based industries such as consultancy and ICT businesses, Akinmade said, “these particular businesses have embraced their ‘location agnostic’ structures to make remote working a possibility, as many business leaders have noticed that being flexible can play a critical role in broadening their access to the top talent pools and employees confirm that it makes a difference to their enjoyment of their role.”
Akinmade further added that more business leaders are calling time on the traditional 9 to 5 because many workers are making it clear that employers can keep their desk massages and weekly free bars, in favour of being able to have a degree of flexibility over their work location and by extension of their professional lives.
In addition, he said: “Regus is the leading global workspace provider. We have built an unparalleled network of offices, co-working and meeting spaces for companies to use in every city in the world. It’s a global infrastructure built for businesses to support every opportunity.
Our network of workspaces enables businesses to operate anywhere, without the need for set-up costs or capital investment. It provides our customers with immediate cost benefits and the opportunity to fully outsource their office portfolio. Designed to enhance productivity and connect 2.5 million like-minded professionals, it’s an instant global community and a place to belong.”
It is instructive to note that the latest Global Workspace Survey from International Work Group (IWG), the opinions of more than 15,000 business leaders across 80 countries discovered that flexible working is not just considered a perk for the perfect role, but a must-have when it comes to taking a new job offer.
Furthermore, the IWG survey showed that the importance of being able to choose your work location was one of the most important things prospective employees now look for in identifying a new role. It found that 70% felt having a choice of work environment is a key factor when evaluating new career opportunities.
Once considered the preserve of parents with young children, flexible working has seen its popularity boom among employees at all stages in their careers, due to the attractive prospects of cutting down on time spent commuting and squeezing in other activities during a lunch break to add an element of balance to the working day. It is also helping businesses to improve diversity within their organisations as the age of retirement creeps up across the board and the contribution older workers make to the economy becoming increasingly important as populations age.