It has been reported that by 2020, the most desirable employee benefit will be flexible working. Lancaster University’s Work Foundation recently conducted a piece of research through the use of in depth interviews with managerial level employees including: academics, business leaders and the public sector, with the aim to gain the latest insight into flexible working in the UK.
The report released outlines the main findings as:
- 37% of managers believed implementing mobile working will result in working longer hours
- 22% say it makes them feel disconnected from their team
- 28% felt it could block them from overseeing the work of others
- 24% claimed all work in their organisation is currently carried out in the company premises suggesting a cultural barrier regarding working “on the go”.
- 75% claimed it would create work for their HR departments
- 84% believe it will require changes to performance management and 82% believed it would require changed to employment terms and conditions.
Dr Cathy Garner (director of Lancaster University’s Work Foundation) was quoted to say “The evidence is showing a clear trend towards a more flexible way of working in the UK as the hurdles are overcome by fresh innovations in technology and people management. We believe that employees and their employers will benefit from the ‘virtuous circle’ created, whereby improved job design, work organisation and trusting relationships lead to healthier, happier and more productive workplaces”.
Although predicted more organisations will adopt flexible working practices, it still appears there are hurdles to overcome, for example, other research has suggested that workers under 35 preferred working in the office.
The Work Foundation concluded that the results suggested that the most successful forms of mobile working will be achieved if the organisation and the individual are aligned in a formal agreement. Sir Cary Cooper (professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School) said: A successful mobile working strategy will incorporate a mix of influences – cultural, social, personal, technical and economic – and its adoption can only be enabled, and must never be enforced by an organisation”.
The full report commissioned by Citrix can be viewed here