Flexible Working: The myths
The reality of flexible working has changed a lot in the last few years, as the workforce becomes more digital and expects to be empowered with the technology they're using at home, in the workplace. It's time we re-imagined the old stories and myths associated with flexible working. With research and customer insights we can break down these preconceived ideas and bust these myths once and for all.
THE PRODUCTIVITY MYTH "Flexible Working leads to slacking"
It doesn’t really, and what this myth is actually saying is “I don’t trust my people” which isn’t positive in any workplace. The truth is, flexible working actually empowers people to work the way they want, together, and well. And here’s why: we all want more from work than just to turn up or head off whenever we feel like it. It’s human nature to want a sense of belonging, to contribute to the team and be praised for work success and tasks completed. So much so, that 90% of employees admit to breaking workplace rules simply to get things done, and 66% say they regularly email company files to personal email addresses so they can work from home1. By equipping people with innovative technology and tools, flexible working becomes work, re-imagined. Far from encouraging slacking, it improves morale, helps businesses retain staff, enables diversity and removes barriers to getting things done
THE ENTITLED WORKER MYTH "Flexible Working is all one-way”
It’s easy to see why flexible working is beneficial for employees – nine out of ten say that it’s had a positive effect on their lives2. But it’s the positive results that flexible working is driving for employers, that’s making more and more businesses jump on board. Four out of five businesses with a flexible working policy, report improved productivity3. And it’s not hard to understand why. When staff are equipped with unified communications technology, they can work using real-time file & screen sharing and collaboration tools from anywhere they’re connected. It’s no wonder employers are reporting benefits like time savings of three hours, per week, per mobile worker4. And perhaps more impressive, improved efficiency and customer service5.
THE NO-NEED MYTH“We’re already working flexibly”
Already got laptops on Wi-Fi? And mobile phones for everyone? Great start. But you should know that 65% of employees are frustrated by having multiple devices with software that doesn’t work together or do what they need it to. Only 16% of employees feel that their current IT setup fully enables flexible working6. The good thing is, an existing setup like this (having mobile and/or laptops) means empowering your staff with a genuine flexible working approach – enabled by Unified Communications – may be easier than you think. You can integrate all your landline, mobile, desktop and tablet connectivity using a single platform and manage it online, on the fly. It’s time to re-imagine what working flexibly really means for your business.
THE MONEY MYTH“It’s expensive to move to a flexible working setup”
While it’s natural to assume that moving to a new system is going to be expensive, the truth is that advances in technology have changed the game. Hefty hardware setups, cost blowouts from customisation, disruption during rollout, and ongoing maintenance and repairs are much less common. Today’s unified communications systems provide businesses with scalable packages with per-user pricing (especially good for seasonal surges), PBX-free office reconfiguration, savings on fixed line costs, external tele-conferencing fees, and more. And it’s not just managing technology costs either: almost half of employees would prefer a flexible working environment to a pay rise7 – it’s just how people want to work.
THE REDUNDANCY MYTH“It's going to put our IT people out of a job”
It’s time to re-imagine the way you could be working, with unified communications. Imagine no more nursing a complicated and ageing PBX along. And no more crawling under desks to re-patch everything because a new employee has started. Instead, imagine simplified management, automatic upgrades, enhanced reliability and, in all likelihood, cost savings – all combining to set you free to afford the shiny new stuff, instead of struggling with the same old dusty stuff. Enable your IT people to focus on training, strategy and big ideas, rather than fixing old problems.
THE DOWNTIME MYTH“It’s way too complicated to move to and manage a flexible working setup”
By its very nature, implementing a unified communications setup means dealing with one provider, and one point of contact. Automatic upgrades mean you can be confident that your business telecommunications are future-proofed, without the manual time and attention required to do the same with a traditional PBX setup. Your employees will be up to speed in no time too – if they aren’t already. Employee expectations toward digital work tools have already changed, due to increased mobile connectivity in their private lives8
THE BEAN COUNTER MYTH“Flexible working is just a cost-saving exercise”
Unified communications doesn’t just remove or replace costly infrastructure. It removes the barriers to connectivity and collaboration, so people can work on the devices they want and in the places they need – all while seamlessly keeping in touch as one team. Reap cost savings in terms of PBX leasing and maintenance, office space, staff retention and training, unnecessary travel and more. Use unified communications to work re-imagined, and see enhanced customer service, increased productivity and a happier team, too. Your employees are likely to be already spending more than 80% of their time working collaboratively, it’s time to set them free9.
To find out how clever technology could help your business better embrace a flexible working, check out our unified communications solution,Vodafone One Business or talk to us today.
 Vodafone UK Digital Workplace study  Vodafone flexible working 2015 study  Vodafone flexible working 2015 study  cioinsight.com – “Reaping the benefits of Unified Communications” 2014  Vodafone flexible working 2015 study  Vodafone flexible working 2015 study  thehrdirector.com – 2016 study  thehrdirector.com – 2016 study  Vodafone flexible working 2015 study