Could the UK save £195m every day with flexible working?


It can’t be denied that people are the heart of a successful business. A company – big or small – that really looks after its employees will find them willing to put their all into its future.

Beth Hampson, Commercial Director at The Argyll Club, explains that as the world gets faster and ever-more-connected, professional pressures are mounting and the need to keep workers engaged and productive is rising, especially as studies show Millennial and Generation Z workers are more likely to change jobs regularly throughout their careers.

Recent research from TotalJobs found that £195m is lost every day from the UK economy as a result of unhappy employees looking to change jobs; clearly, an engaged and empowered workforce has never been more important. But, if businesses want to help their team feel at their best, and enjoy the productivity boost that follows, they must think beyond simply an early finish on a Friday. New tactics need to be considered to prevent employee churn and increase engagement.

One answer that many businesses are already reaping the benefits of is flexible workspaces. It is becoming an increasing important tool for staying ahead of the game when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, but unlocking employees’ time through flexible workspaces also holds significant productivity benefits – helping businesses save their portion of that £195m lost each day.

Flexible workspaces increase employee happiness, engagement and productivity by breaking them out of the stale, traditional 9-5 office. Facilities such as breakout spaces, communal lounges and private phone booths allow employees to take their work to an environment that suits them, or their specific task, best. This can be maximised through office providers with multiple locations.

A portfolio of workspaces across a city means that employees can not only choose to work from the environment best suited to them, they can pick and choose their workspace based on whether it is closer to their gym, makes for a shorter commute, or is nearby their children’s school. Time saved from commuting can be spent on sport or hobbies, helping refresh employees before another day at work.

What’s more, further productivity gains can be found by increasing the time available to your employees by ‘outsourcing’ life admin tasks and creating spaces where teams can work collaboratively or individuals can undertake a task uninterrupted.

Many premium operators offer skilled front-of-house or concierge teams, able to take on booking meeting rooms, travel arrangements or working lunches, freeing up your team to concentrate on what matters; whether that’s client projects or new business research.

Some will even take on personal tasks, such as dry cleaning or bike repair, saving yet more time for a stressed-out worker. Modern working life heaps pressure onto employees, both in and out of work, so anything that helps out with the little things will help employees focus.

In the same fashion, time is often wasted unintentionally when teams can’t collaborate freely or employees focusing on an individual task are interrupted. Rising stress from not being able to finish a task hurts both employee and employer.

Here, again, flexible working can be an effective solution. Meeting rooms and breakout spaces allow teams to separate themselves from the office for a spell and give their all into a collaborative project. At the same time, this allows workers remaining in the office to enjoy a quieter environment and less distractions. In case this isn’t possible, privacy booths in most flexible workspaces offer seclusion for anything from sensitive calls to in-depth research.

Unhappy employees will naturally look to move jobs, and when this churn results in lacklustre efforts and dipping productivity levels, businesses can suffer.

Flexible working tackles both problems at their root, unlocking hours to let employees focus on work and improving employee happiness and engagement.

Time will be an increasingly precious asset as we enter the next decade. Those that make the most of spaces and services to allow teams to operate to their most efficient potential will reap the benefits; those who don’t could indeed fall foul of those £195m losses.