It’s not often we report on the findings of surveys by tech companies – but in this instance, the results of some research by technology giant Polycom made for some interesting reading. They also definitely supported our own findings of the importance of a flexible working lifestyle, as already enjoyed by thousands of contractors.

Teamwork through technology

The survey looked at how the latest communications technology can improve ‘teamwork, productivity and efficiency by enabling permanent staff and contractors to communicate and collaborate more easily – wherever they are in the world. And as more businesses adopt these types of working strategies, this also opens up new opportunities for highly skilled contractors, who can be selected purely for their expertise and not just on location.

A staggering 98% of those interviewed agreed that ‘working anywhere’ is more efficient and more productive, which of course leads to better job satisfaction. It was also identified that 62% of global workers are already working in a flexible way – which is higher than any other figure ever recorded previously, so it’s definitely an upward trend. As CMO of Polycom Jim Kruger puts it, “Organisations that are able to offer flexible working practices and the right collaboration tools will be the winners in recruiting and retaining top talent.”

Challenging perceptions

One of the main issues with flexible working, particularly if you are not an employee, is the lack of visibility of what you are doing - and the perception that you are not working, because you are not physically there. In fact, 62% of all those surveyed expressed a concern that they would not be perceived as being a ‘hard worker’.

All of which means that employers, and organisations that want to find and retain the best contractors, must change their attitudes to flexible and remote working. They must also understand that performance should be measured based on what people achieve, and not on how many hours they appear to have worked.