The right to flexible working hours – learnings from the UK

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Talent attraction and talent retention are crucial aspects in today’s global knowledge economy. An increasing number of countries adopt legislation and implement benefits to support employees in doing what they do best; working on their specific goals regardless of them being in the office, at home, a Berlin co-working space, a Barcelona coffee shop or a Boston campus.

A year has now passed since the UK introduced legislation allowing employees with over 26 week’s service the right to request flexible working hours. At the time, then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that “Modern businesses know that flexible working boosts productivity and staff morale, and helps them keep their top talent so that they can grow.”

True enough, but according to our Chaos Theory research study, there’s still an expectation for project managers and their teams to be more accountable, productive, and collaborative. The combination of people working from home and this expectation for collaboration can be a difficult balancing act.

As of this time last year, there were 4.2 million UK home workers, amounting to 13.9% of the workforce. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that was the highest proportion since measurements started in 1998. Planview is excitedly looking forward to what stats the ONS pull out one year on – have companies taken full advantage of the benefits flexible working can offer? Are they delivering the right technologies such that the businesses are creating a truly efficient flexible work environment?

Today, many employees have to travel for miles to get to the office, constantly combat with obstacles such as train strikes, traffic jams and adverse weather conditions, many of which can cause delays which inevitably spill over into the working day. Individuals might find that they work better in the mornings, or in the early evening, and the flexible working laws should have helped improve productivity. We’ll find out soon enough.

With the influx of millennial employees entering the workforce now looking for a more flexible alternative to the regular 9-5, there is a greater demand for technology which can support a rise in employees working in locations that aren’t the office. Businesses can easily empower employees to work from anywhere with the help of cloud computing tools that will support them. This will help make the transition to this new style of working seamless.

According to the Chaos Theory study, almost all project managers in the organizations surveyed recognize the need for new technology to support and promote effective ways of working in the always-connected, mobile workplace. But in reality, only half (52%) of project managers have adopted new tools to save time. Surprisingly, only half (52%) feels that the IT department support the adoption of new tools, despite the widely recognized benefits, such as cost control, reduced stress, and more cohesive teams.

So, has your business been taking advantage of the Flexible Working legislation, and if it has – has your office been ready to support you? We would love to hear your thoughts.

 

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To learn more about how technology can help your business and ensure that it’s getting the most from flexible working.

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