A new study by O2 Business has found that only a quarter of workers have exercised their right to request flexible working patterns since the new legislation was introduced in June last year.
The survey of over 2000 workers showed that many employers are still reluctant to accept flexible working requests.
The main reason for the slow uptake continues to be a lack of trust, with 31% of those questioned believing their employer doesn’t have the confidence to allow them to work in a way that suits their work-life balance, resulting in a pressure to be seen in the office.
Other reasons given included 28% saying that the business culture didn’t encourage flexible working patterns, whilst 20% said their organisation didn’t have sufficient technology in place to facilitate flexible working patterns.
The survey offered encouraging signs, with the majority of those questioned (53%) being fully aware of the new flexible working laws but most admitting that they didn’t expect to be offered it anytime soon, with just 12% believing their organisation will offer flexible working patterns this coming year.
Education is critical
The concerns raised in the survey demonstrate that employers still need to be educated about the business benefits of introducing flexible working patterns to their staff and how to manage the arrangements effectively.
Trusting staff to work more flexibly has been proven to increase staff morale and job satisfaction, leading to enhanced productivity and improved staff loyalty and retention.
To many businesses this sounds too good to be true but putting it into practice is easier than you might think.
The key to unearthing the benefits of flexible working is focusing on managing productivity and performance and minimising wasteful time.
Customisable Time & Attendance
This is made possible by today’s integrated Time and Attendance systems, which can be customised to support all flexible working arrangments and provide the tools and functions necessary to streamline the administration.
Efficient use of Scheduling, Reporting and Absence Management features allow managers to plan staff time according to personal requests whilst taking into consideration the demands of the business.
Real-time transparency of staff attendance against specific jobs and projects allows managers to maintain cost control and measure how flexible working patterns impact the bottom line.
Instant web access
Today’s systems are also enhanced by web-access which enables managers to gain an immediate view of staff attendance and productivity levels whilst empowering staff to manage their own time too.
Time and Attendance is often perceived as a way of managing workers’ every movement. But used correctly the latest systems can support new and modern ways of working flexibly and mean businesses can respond positively to new requests.