NC – Canadians suffering from the back-to-work blues would be happier if their employers offered a flexible working program, according to the findings in a new study.
The research analyzed a flexible workplace program by Telus, called Work Styles. More than 2,000 team members participated in the study and researchers found that mobile and home-based workers reported that their work interfered less with their home lives and that they were less likely look for a new job than their peers who worked in an office.
“Mobile and home-based employees maintained their performance, and experienced lower stress and less family/work conflict,” says Alison Konrad, a professor of organizational behaviour at The Ivey Business School, who co-authored the study. “We also found flexible workers to be as equally productive as their in-office counterparts and far less likely to leave the company.”
Thanks to new collaboration technologies and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the workplace, many employees now have the ability to work from anywhere at any time. However, in order to capitalize on the benefits of transitioning to a flexible work environment, businesses will need more than technology; leaders must be fully committed and adapt their leadership styles.
“There needs to be a strong culture of trust between leaders and their employees, and in some cases management styles need to be reshaped,” Konrad explains. “We found that Telus leaders focus less on face time in the office and more on the quality and consistency of deliverables.”
The study’s findings arrive as great news for both Canadian employers and employees, as the country’s mobile worker population is set to increase to 73 percent of the workforce, or roughly 13.3 million mobile workers, by 2016 according to the research firm IDC Canada.