Regus study finds flexible working boosts productivity
A total of 72 percent of respondents across Africa believe flexible working is a critical measure to achieving higher productivity, says the latest Regus survey.
This result confirms that in any economic climate, but particularly in times of high market volatility, businesses continue to review their strategies in order to achieve greater efficiency and productivity.
Experts tend to agree on a group of common initiatives to enhance productivity: flexible working; Cloud computing; knowledge management; better communication; training; and health measures such as giving employees the opportunity to cycle or walk to work.
This latest survey, canvassed the opinion of more than 20,000 senior executives and business owners across 95 countries, which includes respondents in North, West, East and South Africa, delved deeper into the subject of flexible working and found that business people believe it not only helps improve employee productivity by reducing unused office space and slashing commutes, but also by helping workers become more efficient.
For example respondents report that flexible work encourages a greater sense of responsibility and fosters better decision making and creativity.
Other outcomes include: In Africa, 76 percent think flexible working encourages a greater sense of responsibility and time management; flexible working also improves the quality (63 percent) and speed (62 percent) of decision making ; flexible working fosters creativity (73 percent); and finally, profitable business connections are also favoured by flexible working (70%)
Commenting on the research, Joanne Bushell Vice President for Africa for Regus said: “Analysts highlight a number of practices that are proven to impact productivity more than others. Flexible working, with its added benefits of improved creativity and networking opportunities enabler, takes pride of place with global businesses stanchly supporting its critical role.
“Businesses know that flexible working enhances productivity, but how this comes about is clearly a mixture of many factors ranging from better time management and responsibility to reduction of stress. Given that flexible working also significantly reduces unused office space it is a win-win solution for businesses hoping to make a cost saving and improve worker productivity and happiness.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.