Putting work in the same sentence as millennial is enough to send some of our elder, more formal working generation into raptures. It’s an all too common misconception that ‘Millennials’, ‘Gen Y’ or those ‘Young uns’ as the elders like to call them are the work shy, technology focused, selfie obsessed generation.
Quite the opposite indeed. Being in the ‘in’ crowd, we’re obliged to say that millennials just work smarter, if not just as hard. Where long hours and hard graft were once considered badges of honour, they’re now red flags indicative of burnout and overexertion. Not quite the Tim Ferris 4-hour workweek, but there is definite advantages of ‘less is more’, and the rise of flexible and/or remote working in the last decade has seen a changing of the guard.
Little reason for 9-5 jobs
With the primary sector of a bygone age, there is little reason for 9-5 jobs, 12-hour mining shifts. The Digital Age and in particular social media has put paid to that, with studies showing the majority of people expect a response within 1 hour on social platforms. And considering there is no off button or closed sign for social, therein lies the need for flexible working.
Customer service needs to be available or at the very least responsive – 24/7, not to mention other on-line services. E-commerce stores never close; the web never sleeps. There are some massive benefits to flexible working, and some companies like buffer only recruit remote employees and they record one of the highest employee satisfaction rates. There are so many benefits to this approach. And more industries, even some you wouldn’t expect are offering modified hours.
This can benefit both the employer and employee. The employer doesn’t need to provide space, heating, toilet facilities, eating areas etc, if their employees work from home. This can result in major savings in office space. As for the employees there are a multitude of savings, from work/office attire, eating out and commuting costs. No wonder flexible workers have a higher job satisfaction rate.
Whether it’s flexible or remote, they both help save the employee time. Starting at 6am or 11am instead of 9am allows them to beat the rush hour traffic and commute to work relatively traffic free. This results in more free time for the employee.
Being remote saves even more time. Waking up 5 minutes before you start usually results in a blind panic rush to work with your underwear tucked into your trousers and odd socks. Working from where you wake just means turning your computer on with one hand and eating your toast with the other. This could save up to 3 hours on a regular commute.
Being surrounded by home comforts can bring a zen, relaxed environment in which to work in. Not embroiled in office politics or having to be polite to the office busybody will restrict distractions. You can choose to not be distracted at home, you don’t have that luxury at an office.
No commute automatically means more ‘you time’, and who doesn’t want or need more sleep. And not necessarily just in the evenings. Power naps in the day can reinvigorate – ready to attack the afternoon workload with a fresh mind.
Taking a nap in the office, even on your lunch hour, can be perceived as lazy or indeed unprofessional by co-workers and management. The nap on your home sofa can be undisturbed and unjudged. There are serviced offices that offer chill out areas, and even some with sleep pods. Heaven!
Favour a Friend
In your normal office environment, you cannot choose who you sit next to. It is usually designated by the business and/or department you work in. However, due to the rise in hot-desking – sole traders and business owners who use serviced offices can choose where they sit and who they sit next to.
Life gets in the way
Instead of booking an afternoon off for a sofa delivery, or nipping out the office for a doctors appointment – with flexible/remote working you can organise your work day around that, eliminating the need to ask your boss for a favour, or using up your precious annual leave.
Parents are able to spend more time with their families in their children’s ‘awake’ time and get on with their work in the quieter sleeping hours. This allows for a better work/life balance and better family relations.
Putting the flex into flexible
Workbench offer virtual and serviced offices catering to your remote and flexible needs. There are plans and options for everyone, without having to be tied into long term leases – putting the flex into flexible.
Image credit: (Flickr / Joche Van Eden)