2017 the 'tipping point' for flexible working

Next year will be the 'tipping point' for flexible and remote working in the UK – meaning more than 50 per cent of businesses will have adopted it by then.

That number will grow even more, to 70 per cent, by the time we get to 2020.

Those are the results of a new survey produced by Lancaster University's Work Foundation, and commissioned by Citrix. The survey, entitled "Working anywhere: A winning formula for good work?”, it asked 500 employees at a managerial level about the pros and cons of flexible working.

So what are the pros? The study highlights four reasons why companies should implement flexible working: increased productivity, improved employee wellbeing, talent attraction and retention and reduction in accommodation costs.

So why is flexible working, if it’s so good, not yet already at 90 per cent, at least? The report says there are ‘cultural barriers’ that need addressing: 37 per cent of managers believe this means longer hours, while 22 per cent say they feel disconnected from the team. An additional 28 per cent felt it blocked them from overseeing other people’s work.

A quarter (24 per cent) also said all work is carried out in company premises.

That’s not all, though – 75 per cent believe this will put more strain on the HR department, 84 per cent say it will require changes to performance management, and 82 per cent think this will require changes to employment terms and conditions.

The study says implementing flexible working requires three key commitments: careful planning, leadership and a new approach.

The full report can be found on this link.

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