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Saturday, 14 December

Will Flexi Work?

According to Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study, £57 billion is lost in our economy each year due to lost productivity, writes Gerry Brennan.

Of course, trying to make £57 billion turn into zero would be a tall order encapsulating a mind-boggling number of strategies, but with a nationwide focus this week on flexible working as part of National Flexible Working week, we think it is only right to highlight how empowering employees outside of the normal office constraints of 9-5 can make a huge difference.

Flexibility is a much talked about subject, which is now enshrined in legislation. As of 30 June 2014, all employees have the statutory right to request flexible working after six months (26 weeks) of employment service.

However, according to a study by Britain’s Healthiest Workplace in 2015, which surveyed over 32,000 employees, 73 per cent of companies still do not offer flexibility.

It will, of course, take time, but with staff costs for British businesses running at around £4 billion every year it is in the employer’s interests to keep good workers happy.

Many employees cite flexibility as a key condition of employment and in a great range of highly trained sectors there is every reason to grant it.

Evidence is increasing to show that companies who treat their employees well and trust them thrive.

This may come as a surprise to some, but we would ask you to consider how much better a happy employee is going to be for your business than one who feels under stress by an overbearing employer who doesn’t trust them? The answer seems obvious.

Happiness, of which flexibility is a key component, leads to higher productivity, less sick leave and keeps staff in the job they enjoy rather than scanning online for a better employer.

Technology for creating a flexible workforce is already here, so the barriers preventing this happening are no more.

Flexible working is the future but it is still relatively new – after all, most homes in the developed world have only had access to the Internet for the last 20 years, so let’s not expect overnight change.

Rather than berate those who have not yet joined the flexible working revolution, we must be persistent, listen to their arguments and address their concerns.

We have to convince the majority that a flexible working model is a sensible step forward for all of us, and only then will the old office 9-5, 5 day a week model, be consigned to the annals of history.

By Gerry Brennan

 

CEO & Founder of agile working software specialists Cloudbooking.com

 

Article written by Gerry Brennan

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