Flexible working arrangements would make employees happier but only 53% of small businesses allow workers to be unchained from their desks, according to a new survey.
Office supplies retailer Officeworks conducted a survey on 1000 employees across Australia and found that 49% were offered flexible working arrangements, including working remotely and hot desking. Out of those who do get the privilege of flexible working, 44% reported that they experienced less stress, 42% felt they were more productive and 40% said they were happier.
According the survey, only 53% of small business owners offer their employees the freedom to work outside of their usual work environment. This is despite the fact that 83% of small business owners admitted that they would like to work remotely once a month.
One of the reasons why a lot of small business owners spurn the idea of flexible working is because their employees are sometimes required to do face-to-face client meetings (32%).
"Offering employees the opportunity to shape how they work provides significant psychological benefits and autonomy," Psychologist Dr Suzy Green of the Positivity Institute said. "As well as overall wellbeing, other aspects like job satisfaction, staff retention and cost savings can also be attributed to this way of working, all of which should be hugely important to small business owners."
Here is a full breakdown of the survey results on small business owners:
- Only 53% of small business owners offer their employees the freedom to work outside of their normal working environment
- 85% of small business owners themselves would like to work away from their workplace at some point during the month
- Working from home is the preferred location for small business owners offering flexible working to their staff members (37%)
- Small business owners who offer flexibility say staff members can work away from their desk every day (40%)
- 40% of small businesses believe workers are less productive if they are not offered the opportunity to switch up their working locations
- Small business owners highlighted less stress (37%), reduced travelling time (36%) and happiness (36%) as the top perks
- The need to meet with clients face-to-face (32%) was listed as a key barrier to offering flexible working by small business owners