Small businesses say flexible working is key to success

Over 80% of small businesses say flexible working is a key to their success. Plus other news.

Eighty-one per cent of UK small business owners say flexible hours are key to business success, according to a study commissioned by Citrix Online.
Worldwide Workplace: The Web Commuting Imperative found that 39% of UK small business owners would allow employees to work remotely if they asked and that flexible working is top of the list of benefits small business owners believe will attract the best talent
The study also found 20% of UK employees would take a pay cut in favour of flexible working.

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Employers support flexible working

Over 50% of managers say they would allow staff to work flexibly, according to research from communications headsets manufacturer Plantronics.
It found that 59% of employees polled said they would like to work from home and only 15% were less inclined to work from home due to the recession. Only 8% of employers were less likely to encourage flexible working due to the recession.
Another report by communications solutions provider Avaya showed 69% of employees are not taking advantage of the flexible opportunities.

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Justice system ‘sexist’, says report

The criminal justice system is failing to promote women to senior positions, says a report by the Fawcett Society.

Its five-year investigation found a lack of consistent progress up the career ladder for women, with women constituting only 12% of police officers at chief inspector grade and above. They said that better promotion prospects would make the system more just for employees, offenders and victims of crime.

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Online job vacancies show small growth

Online job vacancies rose by 2% in April, according to the Monster Employment Index UK.
Overall, vacancies are down 37% on last year.
The biggest increase in vacancies were in healthcare, education, management and consulting and legal sectors. However, vacancies are still falling in construction and HR.

Scotland and Northern Ireland saw the highest growth.

New political party campaigns for flexible working

A new political party has been launched to encourage organisations to bring in more flexible working.

The oneDrum party was set up by software entrepreneur Jasper Westaway. He has posted an e-petition on the No 10 Downing Street website, asking the prime minister to introduce “legislation that allows all office workers to work from home at least one day every month”.

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Twitter ye not

Just 13% of workers are using Twitter during the working day, according to research by
Eight per cent use it daily, according to the survey of 1,765 workers. Monster recommends some tips for

Twitter users at work:

  • Whether using Twitter for primarily professional or social purposes, remember that online these two worlds are inseparable. Don’t post anything on Twitter that you wouldn’t want your colleagues to see as they will inevitably find it
  • Be creative! Twitter is a great place to raise new ideas and be inspired by other people’s, so if you have a particularly interesting idea, share it
  • Post updates regularly – Twitter is a continuous, real-time stream of thoughts, so don’t let your profile sit idle
  • Social networking has a tendency to bring out the self-indulgent in us. Remember that updates should provide food for thought, not just cover the more mundane aspects of our lives
  • Twitter is a great forum for discussion, however you should always be respectful of the views of others when responding to their posts
  • Use Twitter to share your thoughts but make sure that they are not unnecessarily negative towards individuals or competitors.

Women taking longer maternity leave

Women are taking longer maternity leave, particularly in the private sector and larger organisations, according to a survey by Managing Maternity.

Their 2008/2009 benchmarking survey found that the average time women are taking off for maternity leave is now 8.8months, although in 39% of organisations, average maternity leave is between 10 and 12 months.

The organisation, which provides advice for those going back to work after maternity leave, says: “This has important consequences for organisations looking to enable a successful return, particularly given the economic climate and  the pace of workplace change during the maternity leave period.”

The report also shows that the number of women returning to work after maternity leave may be dropping, particularly for those who are having a second or third child.

Firms use social networking sites to recruit

An increasing number of recruiters are looking to find candidates using social networks, according to research for

It found 78% of businesses use social networking and social media to attract people to jobs.

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