The phrase “working nine-to-five” is so dated it is now largely limited to Dolly Parton fans who like to frequent karaoke bars.
Today’s employees are leaving behind the rigid schedules followed by their parents and are enjoying life at the “anywhere office” where they have the flexibility to work remotely – meaning they are happier and more productive. When employees feel they have to be at their desk in the office it can often lead to a poor work-life balance. This not only affects the employees, but it can have a serious negative impact on the companies they work for.
Flexible working recently hit the headlines following the Queen’s Speech, which included a new Employment Bill that will enhance workers’ rights. Part of this was that flexible working should be the default position for all employees, rather than it being up to individuals to request. Employees currently have the right to make an application to ask for flexible working if they have worked for the same company for 26 weeks. But the new rules, which are subject to consultation, would make it the default, unless "employers have good reason not to".
Under the government's definition, flexible working can refer to job sharing, working from home, working part-time, flexitime, annualised hours, staggered hours, phased retirement and compressed hours. It is hoped the changes could help to close the gender pay gap and help parents with childcare costs.
Thankfully remote working is on the rise with professionals being able to work outside of the traditional office environment and do their work wherever they please. A study involving 8,000 global employees and employers conducted by Vodafone in 2016 found that three-quarters of companies worldwide have already adopted flexible working policies and 61% of them believe that it had increased their company’s profits. Even more convincingly, 83% reported that productivity was boosted by flexible hours rather than reduced by them.
It’s no wonder that numerous surveys have found that workers would choose flexible working conditions over a pay rise. Here at PCS Publishing we are able to support companies that are coming around to the fact that work doesn’t need to be done in a specific place for it to be executed successfully.
Thanks to the flexibility of our suite of solutions employees are able to work from anywhere in the world. This means employees can design their own working days, which allows professional and personal lives to be experienced to their fullest potential and coexist peacefully.
For newspapers, it means making last-minute changes to print editions when major news breaks. The Shropshire Star was able to get one over the nationals by quickly changing its front page and breaking the news of Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation in 2016.
However, the publishing industry is constantly evolving – and during our 46 years we have stayed ahead of the game, changing our technology to meet the needs of our customers. When the company first began, the publishing industry revolved around print only. That changed to print and websites, and on to where we are now - complete multi-media, multi-channel publishing. These are progressions we have supported and championed, constantly innovating to keep our customers ahead of the curve and exceeding their audience’s expectations. Remote working, and having a flexible suite of solutions for our customers, is a huge part of this as it helps ensure all our customers are able to adapt instantly to changes in the industry.
So, what are the benefits of giving employees the option of remote working?
1, It makes people happy and healthy. Research shows that employees are happier and less stressed when they have a good work-life balance. In his new book, ‘Work-life Advantage’, Dr Al James from Newcastle University revealed that a staggering 94% of workers felt less stressed at work when they were able to make use of their preferred work-life balance arrangements. Additionally, 79% of staff reported greater engagement with their work, while 78% said they were able to think more creatively at work.
2, Better than a pay rise. A recent study carried out by Investors in People revealed that 31% of employees polled would rather have flexible working arrangements, such as working from home, than take a pay rise. Employees who work remotely often feel more committed to the companies they work for. They see their flexible working conditions as motivation or a reward for their excellent work and are stimulated to continue to surpass their goals in order to continue living the lifestyle that they’ve come to love.
3, Choose the cream of the crop. Publishers are discovering that remote working is a great way of being able to find the best people from around the world, not just those that live with a commutable distance. Being able to attract top talent internationally is a big plus for any business. And here’s something that will make employers who are keen on talent retention lean in a bit closer – it seems 75% of employees would quit their job for one that offered remote working. Maybe try adding the opportunity for remote working to your next job advert and see what response you get?
4, Finger on the pulse. A huge bonus for publishers is that remote working means events can be covered anywhere in the world, and live updates shared instantly. So, publishers and media organisations can get breaking news online straight away, and even make last minute changes in print. As long as there is an internet connection there is no need for work to stop thanks to our suite of solutions. And, once an employee is used to working from home, they will find it just as easy to work from their laptop in media hot spots like Brussels and New York. One of our customers once had to send the editorial staff home when they lost network connection. But through remote working they were still able to get the paper out.
5, Giving quality time to customers. Advertisers know that spending time with customers is an important part of the job. However, they can often find it hard to leave the office where they have everything they need to complete the sale. At PCS Publishing we have created an advertising sales system that supports remote working, meaning field sales people can be with customers and aren’t tied to the office. Also, management can access real-time reports wherever they are, which is important for last minute off-site meetings.
In a blog post that went viral recently, Richard Branson wrote, “The way we all work is going to change.” The entrepreneur believes that our 9 to 5 lifestyles will end in the next decade as a result of technology advancements — from autonomous vehicles to robots to artificial intelligence.
“The idea of working five days a week with two day weekends and a few weeks of holiday each year has become ingrained in society,” he wrote. “But it wasn’t always the case, and it won’t be in the future. I’m lucky in being able to work wherever I am, at any time, and don’t see work and play as separate — it’s all living. I think this will be the case for more and more people in the future, to the benefit of businesses, countries and individuals.”
The reality is that the way we do work is already being transformed — albeit not as radically as Branson predicts for the future. The changes are occurring as a result of technology innovations that allow access to any data from anywhere at any time. At PCS Publishing we are ahead of the game when it comes to remote working. Our Knowledge suite means that publishers are equipped with everything they need for their employees to work anywhere in the world and still be an integral part of the workplace.