Flexible Working…is it working?

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Many organisations are not offering their employees flexible working opportunities, according to new research, writes askgrapevine.com recently.

One year on from O2’s Olympic flexible working pilot, the mobile operator’s study of more than 400 businesses and 2,000 employees reveals that while staff are ready to embrace new ways of working and understand the benefits, it is employers who are holding them back.

According to the study, 77% of employers say that flexible working is actively encouraged across their organisation but less than a fifth (19%) of staff say their company encourages them to work flexibly.

The research also highlights a clear disconnect in what business say and do, and employee perceptions of the policies and support that are in place to help them. Over half (56%) of employers state they have a clear flexible working policy versus just 30% of employees who agree.

Meanwhile, 70% of managers say they try to set an example by frequently working from home or changing their working hours, but only 18% of employees agree that this is the case.

Ben Dowd, Business Director at O2, comments: “Just six months since Britain’s biggest flexible working opportunity, the Olympics, it’s shocking that less than one fifth of people feel they are encouraged to work flexibly. Businesses must sit up and take notice of this critical evolution in employee behaviour and create a business culture equipped to support it. Talking about it simply isn’t enough. To create a truly flexible working culture, actions speak louder than words.”

Dowd continues: “The changes we’ve seen in our own workforce since our pilot speak for themselves. With the right mix of technology, policy and education, Britain’s workforce can embrace the opportunities that flexible working can bring in helping them shape their own definition of the 9 to 5.”

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