While I love working in the CBD, it means a 90-minute commute for me, door-to-door, so that’s 7 ½ hours of my week spent travelling to and from the office.
Recently I started working from home one day per week. I can hear murmurs from naysayers who think that while I’m at home I’m sitting in my pyjamas on the couch watching Netflix. Hear me out! I’ve written before about traditional carrot-and-stick workplace motivators, and how they are making way for alternative driving forces including autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Well, today I’m at home and I’m actually writing this blog. I’m going to drill down on the ‘autonomy’ aspect of new motivation thinking: specifically the power to choose when, where and how you go about your daily grind.
Sure, it’s not for everyone. At DN, we’ve offered flexible working arrangements for a while now, and not many of the team have taken advantage of it. But they might be missing a trick. In fact, research suggests that up to 50% of the Australian workforce would be prepared to take a pay cut to see their office 9-to-5 routine change.
Here are just some of the benefits, from both a business and team point of view, of mixing up your working hours and/or location.
Why it’s good for you
- Better work-life balance – I’m lucky enough to be able to work my hours around my schedule when I need to, leaving more time for the important things in life, like family, friends, and fun times.
- Increased motivation and productivity – if I’m not spending 3 hours a day on my journey to and from work, that leaves me more time to work, and less chance of reaching burnout and stress.
- Reduced time (and money) spent commuting – why would you want to be stuck on the train with a bunch of noisy, sniffly fellow travellers, and paying for the privilege of it, if you don’t have to?
Why it’s good for your business
- Higher staff retention – it’s hard to find A-players for your team. Adding flexible working arrangements to your motivation ‘wheelhouse’ could help you stand out from other recruiters, and reward you with loyalty and commitment from your existing team.
- Less late arrivals and unscheduled days off – when your team has the power to build their work around their life, they’re less likely to require last-minute time off.
- Positive brand sentiment – Digital Noir is nothing without the people that make shit happen, and we focus a good proportion of our branding and marketing efforts on the strength of our team and it’s culture. Flexibility just helps to reinforce this positive aspect of our brand.
Could you give your staff the opportunity for the highly sought-after work/life balance? Could you change your schedule to work at times that maximise your efficiency and output? It’s an option worth implementing for many organisations.
Personally, I find that I actually work slightly longer days when I’m at home. That could be to satisfy the ‘working from home sceptics’, but I’m also happier to put in that little bit extra when I can literally walk from one room to another when the day is done!
And it doesn’t even have to be a dramatic change…try working from the local cafe for a couple of hours, and see what effect it has on your productivity. It’s easy to be distracted in an office environment, and you might be surprised how a fresh, new environment helps you tick off all those nagging cards on your Trello board.