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Flexible vs remote working: what's best for your team?

The days of the standard 9 – 5 working week are gone. Thanks to advances in technology over recent years, people are constantly inventing new ways to do their jobs without being held back by the traditional office environment. This is particularly the case amongst the younger generations; Millennials tend to value their leisure time much more than work hours, and as such try to find a work schedule that fits around their personal lives.

Whether it’s to attract the best and brightest of the Millennial workforce or simply get the most out of your current employees, it’s time to ditch the conventional work routine. There are two main choices at your disposal: flexible and remote working. Both have their pros and cons, and one may be more applicable for your team’s makeup than another, which is why we’re going to explore both so you can make the right choice for your business.

Flexible working
Flexible working is where you allow your employees to work longer or shorter days during the week in order to make up their total allotted week. This may come in the form of an employee working four ten-hour days instead of five eight-hour ones, or vice versa.
Whilst this is an attractive option for workers without children who want to remain in the office, it does have some downsides. Many employees will feel unmotivated to persevere with their work after all their colleagues have gone home, and others may struggle to stay focused during a ten-hour day, rendering the extra hours pointless. It’s entirely dependent upon the role your flexible workers have and their working styles and personalities.

Remote working
Many people consider remote working to simply be a form of flexible working, but the truth is quite different. Remote workers generally won’t forego any hours or modify their working week (although they can if you and the employee agree to) but simply do their allotted working day from the comfort of their own home. The benefits of remote working have been proven to be vast. Your employees are instantly cutting out the dreaded morning commute, which is widely-known to sap morale in the workplace.
What’s more, remote working can lower stress and send worker productivity soaring thanks to the elimination of office distractions. Remote working is a better option for workers with children too; instead of spending one day at home with the kids during the holidays, your employees can spend the whole week with them and be happier, more productive employees as a consequence.

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