How technology can improve flexible working arrangements

  • Research suggests that flexible working arrangements are an important factor in the overall well-being of employees.
  • Organizations need to adapt their technology strategy to support employees in hybrid roles.
  • The HP product portfolio has key built-in capabilities designed to address the diverse facets of flexible work.

Whatever your grandfather’s career, his work arrangements probably weren’t very flexible—and they certainly weren’t designed to maximize his sense of well-being or autonomy. Today, as the sudden shift to remote work gradually gives way to the hybrid office age, employers who don’t prioritize flexibility, autonomy and employee well-being can struggle to hire or retain talent.

What might surprise your grandfather’s boss the most is that this could be a win-win situation for everyone. A growing body of research suggests that flexible working arrangements offer a variety of wellbeing benefits and can help increase employee productivity and engagement. Giving workers the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime, and collaborate seamlessly across borders not only leads to happier, healthier employees — it also builds more efficient organizations that retain employees longer, foster collaboration, and boost productivity increase.

A clear link between employee well-being and flexible working arrangements

Employees who have access to remote work opportunities—including flexible work locations, distributed teams, and virtual work options—were 43% less likely to experience workplace burnout, and 75% more likely to report being often or always busy with work They are 63% more likely to report being innovative often or always, according to a 2020 global study, and are 30% less likely to look for another job in the next year. Likewise, in a 2022 study of workers across England and Scotland, 78% said being able to work from home gave them a better work-life balance, and 50% said it enabled them to get their job done easier and faster, and 47% said it improved their overall well-being.

Julia Yates, Lecturer in Organizational Psychology at City University of London, said that the autonomy afforded by flexible arrangements “results in increased job satisfaction, increased life satisfaction and reduced stress – so it’s generally a very positive thing to be in his work.”

“Autonomy definitely leads to increased productivity because it makes people happier, which makes them more productive,” she added, citing several studies including a 2020 research project that used a neuroscience experiment to study the mechanisms Greater autonomy affects individual and team performance. “It also makes them feel valued, boosts their self-confidence and leads to more creativity, more resilience and therefore more productivity. That way they can play to their strengths.”

The challenge for employers now is to develop a technology strategy that offers not only flexibility but also connectivity and security. That means providing tools that enable employees to work from almost anywhere and enable them to collaborate seamlessly in any conditions.

Technology adapted to flexible working age

For the vast majority of workers, a versatile laptop will be the only essential tool. Although there are dozens of models advertised as ideal for hybrid working, many lack critical features that enable hybrid working, such as:

For this reason, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 has always been a popular choice for employers. Not only does it meet the required requirements, but it also offers innovative features specially designed for working in unconventional spaces. For example, the AI ​​noise reduction feature allows the user to filter out ambient noise or unwanted noise during a video call – a potential lifesaver for parents of young children or anyone working in a public environment like a coffee shop. It also includes a 5-megapixel camera with a wide field of view that allows users to move more freely during calls.

In fact, freeing yourself from ergonomically constrained office desks could be one of the great wellness benefits of shifting to remote work, provided employees have the right equipment. In a survey of nearly 900 teleworkers, 40% said they no longer work at a desk and a third admitted they bought their own gear to accommodate their healthier posture.

Employers can encourage these good habits with wireless devices like the HP 655 Keyboard and Mouse Combo. In addition to a long battery life, the mouse includes a multi-surface sensor that allows operation on a variety of surfaces. And workers who need to make frequent video calls but don’t want to sit at a desk all day will appreciate an outdoor camera like the HP 960 4K Streaming Webcam, which allows for more movement than some other internal laptop cameras.

Finally, as any IT pro can tell you, a distributed workforce makes it exponentially more difficult to secure your organization’s data. Upgrading your IT architecture is essential to give your employees the freedom they desire without sacrificing the security your business requires. HP Wolf endpoint security solutions protect people, devices and data.

The HP Anyware business software platform is purpose-built to keep employees productive with secured access to their digital workspaces without the headaches of a VPN. Also, teams can collaborate in real time by accessing the same desktop or application from virtually anywhere and avoiding large file downloads.

The rules of work have changed. Flexibility, along with paid time off and lunch breaks, are the minimum benefits employees will accept in order to work for your company. Smart employers are already realizing that these new rules will benefit them too, as employees become happier, more connected and more productive. All they need is the right technology and an employer brave enough to provide it.

Learn more about how HP can support flexible working.

This post was created by Insider Studios with HP.

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