27 August 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
More than half (65 per cent) of office workers who don't currently have options for flexible working claim that they would be more motivated and productive in their jobs if given the option to choose their working hours, according to a poll.
The study of 1,000 business professionals was commissioned for leading coworking company The Brew by rent24 (thebrew.co.uk) also found that only 18 per cent of workers at small and medium-sized businesses already have flexible working arrangements, falling to just 14 per cent for those aged 18 to 34.
When asked why they believe that choosing their own working hours would make them more motivated and productive, 65 per cent cite a better work-life balance, while 68 per cent of 18-34-year olds and 60 per cent of all respondents put it down to being able to work during the times of day when they naturally have the most energy and concentration to be productive.
There is a genetic basis for workers' body clocks, which is different for everyone. Employers might want to consider the productivity benefits of flexible working hours, with studies showing that 'night owls' (and workers who aren't early risers) often having lower "brain connectivity", poorer attention, slower reaction times and increased "sleepiness" when made to work a traditional 9-5 work day.
Furthermore, 72 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 and 53 per cent of all respondents in the study also feel that flexible hours would help them get a better night's sleep or be less tired at work.
More than one in four (27 per cent) of respondents think they would be more motivated and productive at work if offered flexible hours, as it would give them greater flexibility to manage their mental health and wellness. A further 30 per cent believe it would make them feel more trusted and appreciated, while 26 per cent put it down to being able to better manage (and be less distracted by) responsibilities outside of work - such as childcare or walking the dog.
The Brew by rent24 is a coworking company for SMEs and start-ups and facilitates flexible working solutions (including 24-hour access).