In focus: The rise of flexible working

The flexible working phenomenon, giving company employees and entrepreneurs the opportunity to carry out their work as they see fit. In the first of our monthly focuses we have chosen to look into the rise of remote working, open plan offices, co-working spaces, increased connectivity, hot-desking, third spaces and the many other workplace innovations which have transformed our daily lives.

While the introduction of these different work models are designed to make businesses more agile, many argue that they’re having a negative impact on the companies who have chosen to integrate them and the employees who work under them.

Each day this month we’ll be asking our writers, along with special guest contributors, to put forward their side of the argument, as we look to uncover the true impact of the rise of flexible working.

Let the debate begin...

More on the introduction of unlimited leave

Unlimited leave is now part of life at Virgin and it’s something that we’re very proud to offer our employees. As Richard announced earlier this week, all staff who work at the home of Virgin, called Virgin Management, or our non-profit foundation, Virgin Unite, are now essentially entitled to take as much leave as they need.

Leading European nations take on flexible working patterns

Since we kicked off our recent focus on the rise of flexible working there has been a considerable amount of press coverage dedicated to the impact our jobs have on both our physical and mental health...

Working off-grid: is there such a thing as too remote?

Remote working opens up a world of exciting opportunities – and I really do mean world. With the latest technological advances in the realm of communication, borders are no longer barriers.  In some situations it is now possible to work remotely from absolutely anywhere...

The expert view: what does the future hold for our working lives?

For the past month we’ve been focusing on the rise of flexible working, exploring people’s attitudes towards the sudden change in working practices and the truth behind the assurances  made by the many organisations that claim employees now have license to work where and when they please…

The best hotspots for freelancers

A career in freelance may spawn connotations of sinking in sofas with laptops, but for most, a place to 'go' to work is still very important. Here are some suggestions on where to work solo...

The false promise of remote working

A fellow writer recently quoted that, according to the Institute of Leadership and Management, 94% of UK organisations apparently now offer staff some form of flexible working and 73% of managers say that their organization is largely supportive of it... So, if it is so commonplace, why are we still debating the pros and cons?

How businesses can adapt to the flexible working trend

Remember how it used to be? People worked a routine nine-to-five with the same colleagues in the same office building, and when travelling on business no one was able to contact someone until they’d got to their destination...

Can't afford an office? Head to the third space

The rise in businesses using so called 'third spaces' for staff to work in, socialise and hold meetings looks to be yet another nail in the coffin of the traditional office...

Quiet please. How flexible working is heralding a new generation of intrapreneurs

Modern job specifications would have us believe that unless we’re all outgoing team players, who enjoy working under pressure, then there’s no room for us in today’s workplace. But what about those of us who are content working alone?

The seven rules of working from home

While recent research by YouGov may have found that flexible working is far from commonplace, there’s no doubt it’s on the rise. In fact, according to the Institute of Leadership and Management, 94% of UK organizations apparently now offer staff some form of flexible working and 73% of managers say their organization is largely supportive of it.

In photos: #MyDeskView

While our research into the rise of flexible workingmay have uncovered the fact that it’s not quite as commonplace as some employers would have you believe, our collection of views from reader’s workstations shows there are still quite a few out there who have been liberated by technology and new working practices.

20 years and counting? Research predicts offices will soon no longer exist

How would having the flexibility to work from where you like impact your life? How about your health, family and general well-being? For some, the idea of remote working is an aspiration that arecent survey suggests could become the norm within the next 20 years.

Infographic: Is the rise of flexible working a myth?

New research, commissioned by Virgin and carried out by YouGov, has discovered that more than three quarters of office workers are not allowed to work remotely as often as they would like to. With only 7% of those asked saying they were allowed to do so on a regular basis...

Why co-working spaces should be every start-up's best friend

To start a business you need drive, enthusiasm, passion and a great idea. These character traits are essential when getting a start-up off the ground. However, once you move from a one man outfit to hiring staff for your growing enterprise the numbers, unfortunately, become just as important.

The stigma of homeworking, when will it end?

What will the office of the future look like? Well, according to research from YouGov, there’s only going to be a ten second commute, no water cooler chat and a lot of you working in pyjamas. This is because people think the office of tomorrow should be the home.

Employers, hang onto the confines of the office at your peril

Modern technology is the great liberator, freeing people from the confines of the office and turning them into digital nomads, able to choose where they work and when they want. However, while the decision to work away from a physical office space appears to be popular choice, far too few people are actually given that option...

The dangers of our increasingly connected world

Smartphones, wireless connections and the cloud have made working on the go an option for all, but are we getting a bit carried away with the notion of remote working? For some the familiarity of the traditional office environment offers more than enough freedom and scope for creativity...

Ups and downs:
hot-desking v co-working

In entrepreneurial hotbed cities, such as Boston, San Francisco, Shanghai and London, flexible working is rapidly becoming the future as companies look to keep down the spiralling costs of operating in these locations...

Boundary issues - the surprising downside of homeworking

Being a motivated person is the starting point for being an effective remote worker, but that motivation can also become your biggest weakness when working from home starts to take over your life...

Why it's time to enable your intrapreneurs

There has been much talk lately about whether or not people should be allowed to work remotely – is it a good idea to trust people to do their jobs from home?

Deskcamping: how freelancers changed the modern workspace 

 I’m not really interested in office space. I’m more excited by changes in the way many of us are working. You only have to visit any city centre café to see them crammed with people working on laptops. It seems the world is going freelance, so I invented Deskcamping...

Five attributes of the next generation workspace 

You live it. You breathe it. One area commonly overlooked when it comes to brand immersion is work environment. Any company whose brand encompasses creativity, collaboration, or innovation should consider open workspaces.

Remote working – why all businesses need to embrace the freedom of choice

Working flexibly; from home, on the move, or from some other location, has never been easier to do, or more beneficial to business, so why are some bosses against it?

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