9/10/2012

Is A Virtual Office Even Possible at Your Workplace?

ATLANTA—Does your boss give you any flexibility in your job at all? Can you leave a little early when Johnny has a soccer game or come in a little late after you worked a late night? Does your boss let you telecommute from a virtual office one or two days a month?

Workplace flexibility can manifest in many different ways. Of course, the virtual office is my favorite, but there are many flavors of alternative workplace strategies. And there are many other ways beyond shifting workplaces that employers can offer flexibility.

According to a Moms Corp. survey on the flexible workplace, there is good news to report. Sixty-eight percent of working adults report having at least a little flexibility at their current job. And in even more good news, that’s a 4 percentage point increase over last year.

This suggests trends like telecommuting and virtual office space may be spreading. Indeed, we know that virtual office space is gaining momentum based on our own internal reports and other reports from the likes of the Global Workspace Association.

Moms Corp. drilled down deeper into the flexible work numbers to reveal that 80 percent of the 18- to 34-year-old age group has at least a little flexibility. And get this, 18- to 34-year-old men top the flexibility charts at 85 percent.

Compared to their older generational counterparts, 18- to 34-year olds (65 percent) and 35- to 44-year olds (66 percent) agree that flexibility is one of the most important factors they consider when looking for a new job or deciding what company to work for. A lesser but still significant 53 percent of 45- to 54-year olds agree.

What’s more, 41 percent of 18- to 34-year olds would be willing to take a pay cut for more flexibility at work. Organizations looking to streamline should take note—as this generation enters the workforce in droves, flexibility will be a way to keep costs down but also recruit and retain top, young talent. And virtual offices play a key role in that plight.

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