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Today, 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 58 percent of companies in the United States 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. 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.

United States companies lead in adoption, though barriers still exist

Of the 10 countries surveyed, the United States was the leading adopter of flexible working, with 82 percent of responding organizations stating they have implemented flexible working policies. Benefits realized include:

  • 58 percent of US companies saw increased profits after implementing flexible working.
  • 86 percent of US companies who have implemented flexible working have seen an increase in employee productivity.
  • Teamwork has improved in 61 percent of US organizations utilizing flexible working.
  • 60 percent of US workers leverage flexible working to improve work/life balance.
  • Staff morale has increased in 77 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 the US:

  • 43 percent of US companies who have not implemented flexible working have not done so due to fears that employee teamwork will decline.
  • More than 50 percent of US employees feel they do not have a usable flexible policy in place at their job.
  • 44 percent of US employees do not currently use enterprise social networking – a tool that would play a major role in flexible working.

 

Vodafone Americas President Chuck Pol said: “Vodafone’s research highlights a significant shift in the modern workplace. More than ever before, US employers are telling us that flexible working boosts profits while their employees tell us they’re more productive. At the core of this trend 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 and video conferencing capabilities. These findings prove we have entered an era where work is what you do, not where you go.”

View the full findings in our Guide to Flexible Working

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Notes to editors

The Flexible: friend or foe? survey was conducted by Morar research on behalf of Vodafone between September and October 2015. The countries surveyed were Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the USA, as well as the territory of Hong Kong. A total of 8,000 employers and employees were interviewed online across 10 countries.

About Vodafone Americas

Vodafone Americas delivers total communications services to multinational corporations headquartered in the United States, Canada and Latin America. It currently employs over 600 people in six regional offices. To learn more about our capabilities in the Americas, please visit: www.vodafone.com/americas.

About Vodafone Group

Vodafone is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 57 more, and fixed broadband operations in 17 markets. As of 31 December 2015, Vodafone had 461 million mobile customers and 13 million fixed broadband customers. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.