Flexible Working. Achieve Business Success

It’s a fact. Flexible working is all the rage, and for good reason. Chaining employees to their desks and ruling their working lives with an iron fist is a practice that’s dead and buried.

Need convincing? A recent study by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR, formerly the DTI) shows that almost all British workplaces offer some form of flexible working.

But separate research from the Equal Opportunities Commission shows that Britain still lags behind the rest of Europe in providing the best possible working conditions. Meanwhile, policy-makers are poised to bring British employers into line with new regulations; potentially adding to mountains of employment-related red tape introduced in recent years.

Responding to the report, the head of the Institute of Directors said:

“Employers have rights too, but we want employers to be responsive so we need to communicate better the benefits of flexible working.

Regulation has a poor record in both encouraging innovative practice and in producing solutions that do not have unintended consequences, discriminating against smaller businesses in particular.”

Meanwhile, Confederation of British Industry director-general Richard Lambert claims that businesses must work efficiently and productively to shield themselves from the ‘Credit Crunch’ that has gradually taken hold of the UK financial services sector.

Macro-economics aside, the message seems to be that employers should do all they can to maximise the productivity and efficiency of their workforce, while keeping employees happy and feeling looked after. Not an easy combination, but flexible working can help.

Bosses shouldn’t feel pressured to give away perks that lower productivity. Flexible working doesn’t mean letting your team turn up when they want, surf the internet all day or take long luxurious lunches. The trick is to boost morale by helping your team to work smarter, and it doesn’t take drastic changes to make a big difference. Perks should be constructive and mutually beneficial. A few subtle upgrades or tweaks here and there will enhance productivity and staff drive no end.

Your first step towards smarter working enlightenment is tuning into a podcast that features insightful comment from a pair of leading lights in the world of business. They examine the issues that businesses face day-to-day and the continuing challenges and trends that are encountered in the modern workplace.

Discussion areas include:

  • how best to plan for business evolution;
  • graduate and staff expectation;
  • mobility;
  • technology and impact on profitability and how best to measure your level of investment.

For advice on how small changes can have a vast impact on your company’s performance visit the Smarter Ways of Working podcast.

And having been made aware of the current business issues and trends you can find further solutions to smarter ways of working by joining an elite panel of experts in a webchat on May 26th. The experts include Neil Salton, Managing Director of GoCordless, a division of the Cordless Group, Emma Gilthorpe, Group Director of Industry Policy & Regulation at BT, and Philip Vanhoutte, EMEA Managing Director of Plantronics on the 26th May at  2:30pm

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