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Huge study says flex drives productivity
ALSO: how big a pay rise would make you happy?
The biggest challenge of assessing flexible working is the nebulous task of measuring what gets done.
That’s why a huge piece of new research from Boston Consulting Group this week is so valuable.
It found that workers who feel in control of their work are more productive: Specifically salespeople at firms with more flexible working policies grew sales 4 times more than those without.
The study took data from 554 large companies (employing a total of 26.7 million people). It found that “fully flexible” firms increased sales four times faster than those with more rigid policies.
Flexible firms grew sales 21% between 2020 and 2022 compared with 5% growth for companies with rigid hybrid or fully onsite workforces.
Going even further, the firms that had a small number of office days per week grew sales at x2 the rate of those in the office full-time.
More than anything this demonstrates the more workers feel trusted to do their work in the way that suits them best the better the results. (If only every job role was as measurable as sales). Read more.
I loved this Guardian interview with former podcast guest Owen Eastwood - here he is on the podcast - most of us aren’t going to get a chance to work with Owen but I love hearing specifics about his approach so that any of us can try to emulate it
He makes people think about a context that is more important than themselves
He relentless focusses on creating an environment for intimate connection (camp fires play a big part)
Workers still not coming in? Amazon’s approach has been to suspend promotions for workers who don’t make it into the office three times a week (as a first step to firing them)
How big a pay rise do you need to be happy? Generally most people think about 30-50% more than they earn right now (no matter how much they earn right now)
Our brains are significantly less engaged during Zoom meetings, in comparison to IRL encounters says new neuroscience research: ‘Zoom appears to be an impoverished social communication system relative to in-person conditions’ (research here)
This is an interesting read suggesting that the best leaders use their energy to inspire their teams. "Positive energisers produce substantially higher levels of engagement, lower turnover, and enhanced feelings of well-being among employees"
70% of users said they were more productive
68% said it improved the quality of their work.
Users felt it made them about a third 29% faster doing tasks
The key thing for Microsoft is that they want a tool that workers would be reluctant to stop using if they changed jobs (revenge for the ‘Gmail over Outlook’ effect) and three quarters of users said once they used Copilot, they didn’t want to give it up
Office space per worker in the US is on a sharp downward clip. “We’ve seen for the past year a pretty consistent trend of average lease sizes being 20% lower than in the five years before the pandemic,” says one insider.