Most employees would accept less pay for flexible working options

Offering flexible working, done right, is a double win for business owners. Let your staff work from home, for example, and you cut out the crippling costs of renting premises, and all the bills that come with it. Team homeworking keeps the business nimble - you're not tied into any three-year leases, so you can keep your bottom line slender and cut your losses quickly if the business doesn't work out (neatly avoiding the blow of huge debts and tons of paperwork on top of a failed business).

And, for the most part, you keep team members happy: parents love the chance to work their jobs around their kids' lives, younger people relish the idea of tapping out admin tasks in their jammies, and more or less everybody we've ever met would be delighted to not spend the first 45 minutes of their working day with their face rammed into someone else's armpit on overcrowded public transport.

Of course, working with a team scattered across the country won't work for every business. Firstly, some just need premises: restaurants being the obvious example. And most people prefer to be working alongside others to keep them perky throughout the day, however enamored by daytime TV they pertain to be. Consult your employees to see what works best for them, then balance their needs against the demands of your budget.

But if you're in the early stages of a business, we absolutely believe you should be working from home for as long as possible. And if that means letting new staff members work from their homes because you've overfilled your kitchen and living room, all the better - you can sell it as a benefit to them. They might even take less salary because of the advantages to them, if the Cisco research stands true (which it should - it questioned almost 2,000 people).

Make it work by having regular team meetings in cafes (ideally at least weekly), using Skype for video conferences, and getting on Huddle for file sharing and project management that lets you all work from different locations without letting deadlines slip.

We've only given a very cursory and superficial look at flexible homeworking here - but you can find out much more about it by downloading our free home business ebook. Try it - if it means you can drastically cut costs and make employees happy, why wouldn't you?


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