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Over the last few years, how and where people work has fundamentally changed. The hybrid working model is rapidly becoming the norm across the world, empowering employees to split their time between the office, home, and a local flexible workspace. In fact, 88% of office workers cite hybrid working as a leading benefit they’d expect in a new job role, according to research by International Workplace Group (IWG).
“The future of work will be flexible, with people empowered to work wherever is most productive and convenient,” says Jeff Doughman, president of IWG North America, the world’s leading provider of flexible workspaces with 3,500 locations in over 120 countries. Among the locations are more than 30 flexible office and coworking spaces in the Greater Boston Area through its brands Regus and Spaces.
IWG offers workplaces for companies of all kinds and sizes to meet every different work style – from start-ups to multinational corporations. With greater freedom to work however and wherever is convenient, the company’s research shows that workers are now four times more likely to choose to work in an office close to home. So with this new way of working in mind, companies can say goodbye to long, expensive leases and turn to flexible spaces that can help meet employees’ needs, wherever they may be based.
Here are four ways companies can give employees more flexibility at work:
1. Embrace hybrid working
People want to choose where and when they work, whether it’s from home or a local coworking space, with the occasional trip to the headquarters. Half of workers would quit their jobs if they’re required to return to a company’s headquarters five days a week, according to IWG. And, nearly 90% say they expect new employers to offer hybrid working.
Because workers no longer need to commute to their company headquarters every day, “Hybrid work gives people back time to spend with family, their friends, or doing what they love,” Doughman says. “While many forward-thinking companies were adopting hybrid schedules before the pandemic, COVID-19 has accelerated it, and there’s no doubt that it’s here to stay.”
2. Cut the commute
Average workday commute times were 28 minutes one-way pre-pandemic.
Doing this twice daily, five times per week consumes time and energy. Today, people don’t want to spend so much time getting to and from work. Local, flexible workspaces provide a high-quality, professional place to work near home that people can often walk or cycle to.
Offering more workspaces beyond your headquarters, “can save employees money — something that’s taking on even greater significance today with soaring fuel costs driving higher commuting costs,” Doughman says. Eliminating the daily commute is also the single biggest thing a company can do to reduce their collective carbon footprint.
3. Offer access to flexible workspaces
Company headquarters may continue to anchor organizations and serve as a place for colleagues to gather periodically to connect and collaborate. But, flexible workspaces can be more convenient. They give employees a “high-quality place to work” closer to home, wherever that may be. This boosts local economies and fosters a healthier, happier workforce, Doughman says.
“Let’s face it, it’s not always practical to work from home — whether it’s patchy Wi-Fi or getting easily distracted by other things,” he says. A flexible workspace can combine the convenience of working from home with the support of working in an office environment.
In addition to central locations, IWG offers dozens of hybrid workspaces in the Boston area, including in Quincy, Waltham, Back Bay, Seaport, and Burlington, with memberships available for different types of businesses and work styles. Members of IWG can also drop into any of the 3,500 locations across the world, including more than 1,100 locations in the United States. The spaces provide coworking desks, collaborative lounge areas, private offices, and other features like IT support, which can all be booked through the IWG app.
4. Promote well-being at work
Flexibility and hybrid work provide better work-life balance. More than 30% of workers say hybrid working improved their mental health and well-being, according to IWG. Doughman says these benefits are just as important to employees as pay, retirement plans, and parental leave.
“Employers that address the well-being of their teams and introduce initiatives to support this — as well as empowering them to work in a way that suits them best — will find they come out on top when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent,” he says. Prioritizing employee wellbeing is also better for business. It helps increase productivity, and allows companies to keep and attract better talent.
To learn more about flexible workspaces and find one near you— for yourself or for your employees — visit IWGPLC.com.