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Increasing Demand for Flexible Working

30/08/2013

Over the past few years flexible working has become a regular hot topic in blogs such as this. From job sharing and flexitime to remote and home working, the pros and cons have been widely debated.

With many large organisations beginning to adopt a flexible working approach, other businesses have not been so forthcoming. For example, in February this year Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, retracted the employee benefit of working-from-home with the aim of increasing creative team collaboration within the office. A bold and regressive step for many, a return to sense for some.

However, according to a recent study by Vodafone and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), organisations who adopt a more flexible approach to the working environment are likely to benefit from a boost in employee productivity. The survey found that employees estimated there would be a significant increase in the number of productive hours each week with the introduction of flexible working.

These findings reflect a wealth of research into the area. With study after study showing that an improved work-life balance can increase employee well-being and empower employees, increasing productivity and engagement with the business. 

Now that economic indicators collectively seem to be pointing in a positive direction for the first time in a while, we are seeing employee security increase dramatically, and with it, confidence to seek out new opportunities and make demands for greater flexibility in those roles. In fact, the current results from our salary survey already show that over 54.1% of professionals see flexible benefits as being  either ‘a very important’ or ‘vital’ part of their jobs.

Technology was always supposed to be the ‘great enabler’ but it seems for some the flexibility it can afford us is a threat to the old way of doing things, where people clocked-in and clocked-out. The current generation are perhaps too clocked-in and professional burn-out a genuine generational concern. We need to heed the benefits, the freedoms, and the flipside to this technological advancement, not just suffer its handcuffing. 

I’m with the employees on this one!