Gauteng Business News

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BUSINESS: The Social Side Of Flexible Working


Recent Gauteng Business News

79% of business people in South Africa say flexible work allows them to get out and meet up with people more often

Flexible workers have a more active social life (79%), reveals latest study commissioned by Regus, the flexible workspace provider. Workers report that being able to work closer to home at least some of the time helps them spend more time socialising and meeting people. The survey also found that flexible workers are more likely to shop locally and contribute more to the local economy (62%).

Regus commissioned research canvassing over 350 business people in South Africa and found that flexible and closer-to-home working helps to create a sense of community in more ways than one; by benefitting local businesses, but also allowing people to get out and meet up with friends and family more often. Flexible working has become so important that fully 69% of workers say that any job they take nowadays should offer it.

Other key findings:

• Working closer to home reportedly also makes for a healthier workforce with two out of five respondents saying that cutting down the gruelling commute means they get more sleep (42%);
• Half also confirm that a shorter commute also contributes to helping them find time to eat more healthily (50%);
• But flexible working can also offer some respite from annoying colleagues with 46% saying it means they don’t have to put up with colleagues’ unpleasant personal habits;
• Two out of five (37%) confirm working out of the main office some of the time helps them get away from boring colleagues.
Joanne Bushell, Regus Country Manager for South Africa, comments, “Flexible working is recognised as a key element of staff retention and motivation, but the results clearly confirm that it plays a key role in helping workers decide whether they will even consider a job or not.”

“While the health and morale benefits of flexible working are easily grasped, the study also reveals that allowing people to work closer to home at least some of the time can benefit local communities. Small businesses such as cafes and shops play a key role in building community spirit and risk closing if they are only frequented during the weekends. Thanks to flexible working these commercial activities experience a continued stream of business throughout the week.”

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