Vodafone Study Finds 75 Percent of Global Companies Leverage Flexible Working Policies

Vodafone revealed results of its Flexible: friend or foe? study which found 75 percent of companies worldwide have introduced flexible working policies to enable employees to vary their hours and use the latest technologies to work remotely. The survey of 8,000 business professionals across three continents also revealed that 55 percent of companies in Hong Kong who have introduced flexible working have seen increased profits since its implementation.

The Flexible: friend or foe? study drew on responses from small and medium-sized businesses, public sector organizations and multinational corporations (MNCs) in 10 countries/regions. Respondents stated — to a striking extent — that they believed performance had been enhanced as a result of flexible working:

  • 61 percent of respondents globally said their company’s profits increased;
  • 83 percent reported an improvement in productivity; and
  • 58 percent believed that flexible working policies had a positive impact on their organization’s reputation.

The rapid adoption of high-speed mobile data services, fixed-line broadband and cloud services is playing an integral role in this workplace revolution: 61 percent of respondents now use their home broadband service to access work applications and 24 percent use a mobile data connection via their smartphone, tablet or laptop with broadband dongle.

More than three-quarters of Hong Kong companies offer flexible working, though barriers still exist

76 percent of responding organizations in Hong Kong stated they have implemented flexible working policies, on par with the global average of 75 percent. Organizations have seen a vast improvement and benefits including:

  • 55 percent saw increased profits after implementing flexible working;
  • 84 percent who have implemented flexible working have seen an increase in employee productivity;
  • Teamwork has improved in 68 percent of Hong Kong organizations utilizing flexible working;
  • 45 percent of workers leverage flexible working to improve work/life balance; and
  • Staff morale has increased in 79 percent of these organizations.

Vodafone’s survey also explored why 20 percent of respondents globally said their organization had not yet implemented a flexible working policy. Specifically in Hong Kong:

  • 33 percent who have not implemented flexible working have not done so due to fears that employee teamwork will decline;
  • 66 percent of employees feel they do not have a usable flexible policy in place at their job; and
  • 28 percent of employees do not currently use enterprise social networking — a tool that would play a major role in flexible working.

Vodafone Global Enterprise Asia Pacific President Ben Elms said: “Vodafone’s research reveals a profound and rapid shift in the modern workplace. Hong Kong employers are telling us that flexible working boosts profits while their employees tell us they’re more productive. Central to all of this are the new technologies that are reshaping every sector, from high-speed mobile data networks and fixed-line broadband to the latest collaborative cloud services. We truly are in an era when work is what you do, not where you go.”