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Flexible and mobile working boosts productivity

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Office workers believe they would be more productive if they were allowed flexible and mobile working options, according to a new study.

In the survey by 2e2, 63 per cent of workers said that the traditional nine to five working day stifled their productivity, due to being too rigid, reports onrec.

Allowing staff a certain degree of adaptability means they can maximise their time and achieve a better work life balance and thus work more efficiently.

What is more, 55 per cent of the 2,000 office staff surveyed said they experienced an increase of productivity when working from home.

Mobile working is a growing trend, which has been made possible by advances in technology, and encompasses third locations to work, such as coffee shops and libraries, as well as home.

This was backed up in the study, as 73 per cent of respondents declared that any barrier which was once present due to technological restraints no longer exists to stop employees working outside of the office.

Mike Hockey, director at 2e2, told the news provider: “Different people have different working patterns and the traditional 9 to 5 way of working doesn’t suit everyone. It’s clear that often employees would be more productive if they had flexible hours or could work from home.”

Interacting with colleagues is still seen as important, according to the study, with one in two members of staff stating that more modern work practices minimise human contact.

Despite that the majority of those surveyed said that the boardroom is not the best place to thrash out ideas, with a more informal setting, such as a pub or restaurant being more popular.

Mr Hockey said: “Technologies like instant messaging, SMS, web-based meetings and video conferencing have revolutionised workforce interaction and productivity.”

Mobile working and flexible working can also help office workers to cut down on the amount of time lost to the daily commute, as they can decide to travel before or after the majority of traffic is making its way to and from work.

The study estimated that £1.21 billion is lost due to staff being stuck in traffic each year, with an added £1.03 billion lost in productivity due to the stress and fatigue traffic extols on employees.

Mr Hockey said: “The negative impact the daily commute can have on productivity shouldn’t be underestimated. If UK businesses can offer employees more flexible ways of working then those businesses stand to benefit massively.”