This week Nick Clegg announced that by 2014 all workers will have the right to request flexible working; regardless of whether they have children or not. This announcement has been met with a mixed reaction from both employers and employees alike but why is this and what are the real benefits of flexible working.
Flexible working can take on many different guises and can be referred to as part-time working, term-time working, job-sharing, Flexi-time, Compressed hours, Annual hours or mobile working. All of these are a form of flexible working and negate the need for the employee to be at their desk from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
DTI research as far back as 2000 showed that small businesses saved up to £250,000 through reduced staff turnover, simply by using flexible working. As early as next year there will be a 249% increase in the number of personal devices used to support flexible working and 83% of business polled believed that they would see an increase in productivity.
In an Economy where businesses are struggling to make a profit and need to look to new and novel ways to increase their turnover flexible working make sense as it offers a number of key benefits to all companies.
Firstly it allows Companies to cut their costs; due to a reduction in office space, a fall in absenteeism and sickness rates, and a reduction in computer hardware. Secondly it allows companies to increase their productivity by allowing employees to work when they are at their most resourceful and also an increase in customer satisfaction as their needs are met around the clock. Thirdly it also leads to less paper being produced, as your remote workers require access to data in a digital format. This in itself leads to increased productivity, reduced printing, storage and travel, which was covered in a recent blog here http://ecobytesblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/can-your-office-become-paperless/ Finally it allows employees to have a better work-life balance; they will feel more in control of their lives and will become one of the main drivers of success for a Company.
So why are all businesses not offering flexible working as the norm? Well in part this is due to a lack of the technology that is needed to implement flexible working. Only 34% of UK businesses provide basic technologies such as laptops and remote connection to the company network to enable more flexible work styles. To be able to become a truly flexible workforce companies need to equip their employees with mobile computer devices or allow employees to bring their own devices and connect them to the companies servers, this is commonly referred to as BYOD and will be covered in future blogs. Secondly they need to move over to cloud based applications to allow employees anywhere anytime access to emails, documents and company information. To a lesser extent companies also need to look at video conferencing options and even social media to provide a truly joined-up and flexible workforce.
This is where EcoBytes comes in we are a new type of IT Support consultancy. Our passion is enabling technology to meet your business needs, and making sure it delivers what you want both now and for the future. We’re proactive in helping you get the best return from your existing server solution and when ready, can help you migrate to a better solution for your business, whether traditional, cloud-based or hybrid. We’re also very green focused and can work with you to implement smart and flexible working practices that not only increase productivity, but also reduce your operational costs and your impact on the environment.
To find out more or to book a free no-obligation consultation please visit our website www.ecobytes.co.uk