A new study commissioned by Regus finds that 71 per cent of respondents agree that flexibility with hours and work locations allows them to go out and meet people more often.
Workers report that working closer to home, at least some of the time, enables them spend more time socializing. The survey also found that 58 per cent of workers with flexible hours are likely to shop in their own communities, helping to boost the local economy.
Regus commissioned research canvassing over 1,600 business people in Canada. The survey found that flexibility and working closer to home helps to create a sense of community in various ways. For example, local business benefit and workers are free to get out and meet up with their friends and family frequently. This new attitude about work has become important to many business people, as 65 per cent of those surveyed said that any job they take should offer flexible working.
The survey also found that working closer to home contributed to a healthier workforce, as 52 per cent of respondents said that reducing a long commute to work means they get more sleep. Meanwhile, 56 per cent said the shorter commute is preferred because it helps them find time to eat healthier.
Other than health, respondents cited colleagues as another reason to work away from the office, as 47 per cent said flexible working means they don’t have to put up with the unpleasant personal habits of their colleagues. Getting away from boring coworkers is less of a concern, as only 39 per cent of respondents listed them as a reason to work out of the main office.
“Flexible working is recognized as a key element of staff retention and motivation, but the results clearly confirm that it plays a key role in helping workers decide whether they will even consider taking a job or not,” said Wayne Berger, Regus VP for Canada, in a press release. “While the health and morale benefits of flexible working are apparent, the study also reveals that allowing people to work closer to home, at least some of the time, can have a positive economic impact on local communities. Small businesses such as cafes and shops can tap into a new set of regular customers throughout the work week.”