A recent survey conducted by Samsung shows that 25% of workers would rather be given flexible working hours than a higher pay cheque. These figures suggest that financial stability can be less important to employees than fulfillment at work. Here, we take a look at the findings and why flexible working trumps a bit more in the bank.
The research conducted by Samsung gives a surprising account of what it is about working that makes employees happy and more productive. For many years, an increase in wage was thought to be the highest aim for staff, as being paid more for the work performed equaled a professional pat on the back and employer appreciation.
However, since the rise in technology has become so unfathomable in recent years, working from home has become a far more appealing, and highly possible, option for many workers who find the commute and the daily grind physically and mentally draining. Samsung are strong supporters of the flexible working directive, which sees staff who have worked for the same employers for more than 26 weeks given the chance to request specific changes to their working week in order to better support their personal lives.
The Current Climate
Working from Home week was introduced as early as 2003 but with recent technology allowing for a smoother transition than ever into out-of-office working, it is gaining momentum. Currently, 14% of employees work from home and for many it encourages a happier outlook on not just the job they do, but also in terms of personal life. Some of the top reasons people would prefer working from home include:
• No travel costs – The opportunity to save on petrol is tempting and for those who are concerned with their carbon footprint, the option to stay at home and not pollute on the commute is favourable.
• No dress code – Being able to wear what you feel comfortable in could be a huge catalyst in how well work is performed. Although most offices do not require a full suit and tie all the time, being at home allows for employees to feel more comfortable.
• No set breaks – Feeling strangely peckish at 11am? Too bad, your lunch break doesn’t start until 1pm. Working from home gives employees a chance to set their own lunch and coffee breaks, directly influencing their mood and therefore the way they work.
• Freedom – Finishing at the office at 5:30pm is great, but then there’s the hour-long journey home. You didn’t get a chance to make the kids’ breakfast this morning and you won’t get home until after they’ve gone to bed. This familiar scene can be avoided when working from home and can give parents who tend to miss out a chance to reconnect with their families. This can also make a huge change to household funds as childcare hours can often be reduced.
Of course, flexible working does not necessarily mean working from home. For some jobs, working from home is just not possible but that is not to say that compulsory office workers cannot help decide how to break down their week. It may be something as simple as leaving at 16:00 instead of 17:30 so you can catch the kids before they go to sleep. Employers must be mindful that their employees need to grow, develop and thrive both at work and at home in order to be well-rounded and content individuals. Perhaps nowadays this can be done by offering a little extra free time rather than a few extra pounds.