WHY FRANCHISING HAS BECOME MORE FLEXIBLE: The demand for technology and convenience is skyrocketing. Is your business ready?

Author:Harris, Darin
 
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When many of us started our careers, we never could have imagined how technology like the internet and mobile phones would take hold. Today, we have more power in the palm of our hand via a single smartphone than NASA had when it put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. That is astonishing.

Undoubtedly, technology has rapidly changed the world around us, from how we communicate with each other to how we travel. For many IFA members, technology is the entire reason their businesses exist. At the very least, it has changed the way each and every one of us conducts business on a daily basis.

Think of what many Americans do the minute they wake up--they check their phones. Whether it's their email, social media accounts, their go-to sources for news, or text messages that came in overnight, they're getting their day started before they've stepped out of bed. In fact, it's not uncommon for people to answer a few emails from bed, a few more while they're making coffee and a few more on the morning commute. Technology has allowed us to get so much done, and be just as effective outside of the traditional office environment, as inside. Better yet, employees are embracing it.

Workspace flexibility is growing worldwide.

According to the IWG Global Workspace Survey released earlier this year, four out of five respondents said that when faced with two similar employment offers, they would turn down the one that didn't offer flexible working. It's no surprise then that 62 percent of businesses worldwide currently have a flexible workspace policy, and over half of employees globally are working outside of their main office headquarters for at least two and a half days each week.

The major driver that has accelerated this revolution in workspace mentality is worker demand. Because flexible working allows for more convenience and a better work-life balance, the demand for it is increasing year over year; worker demand is up to 75 percent from 70 percent in 2017. More and more organizations are allowing staff to work where they want, in remote locations as well as in coworking spaces, and are even relying on more flexible workforce arrangements such as using more freelancers and contractors. In this multi-faceted environment, the regular nine to five is a thing of the past and many types of workers are using various combinations of workplace solutions that include home working, business lounges and remote offices, as well as traditional office...

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