Flexible working is the new normal: IWG survey

By Bong Xin Ying / EdgeProp Singapore | March 19, 2019 12:07 PM SGT
Flexible working has become the new normal, according to a research report by workspace operator International Workplace Group (IWG). Of the 15,000 respondents surveyed in 80 countries, 75% say that this is the case.
Consequently, over the last decade, 85% of businesses have launched a flexible workspace policy or are planning to do so, says the group’s Global Workspace Survey Report dated March 2019. Also, 50% of those surveyed say that they now work outside their company’s main location for at least half the working week or more.
Mark Dixon, CEO and founder of IWG, notes: “Last year, our Global Workspace Survey talked about reaching a tipping point, but what we are seeing now is that flexible working is considered by many to be the new norm for any business that is serious about productivity, agility and winning the war for top talent.”
The IWG report notes that flexible working can be used as a benefit to attract and retain top workers. Businesses in the UK, the US, Australia and India are particularly likely to leverage flexible working in an increasingly competitive talent market. In Poland, 92% say they are adopting this strategy. The report says that German and Belgian workers are even more likely to reject a job offer that does not provide a degree of flexible working.
Worker demand for flexible workspaces was reported at 70% in 2017, and this has increased to 75% this year. That said, flexible working has become so fused with modern working practices on a global scale that many countries, such as the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, the UK, Italy, and more recently, Belgium, have included it in their legislation.
Globally, 60% of workers still say that changing a long-standing non-flexible working culture is an obstacle to introducing flexible working. This is highlighted by business leaders in Spain, Argentina, Mexico, South Korea and Italy.
Reducing the stress of commuting is a benefit to businesses, with 75% of businesses reporting that they are introducing flexible working to reduce commuting times, says the IWG report.