Staff want more flexibility

Almost two thirds of office staff would like more flexibility and over half say they are more productive working from home, according to research revealed by ICT company 2e2.

Almost two thirds of office staff would like more flexibility and over half say they are more productive working from home, according to research revealed by ICT company 2e2.

Some 73% said that technology does not act as barrier to homeworking. However, almost half said that remote working and modern technology has meant less face to face contact with colleagues and that the best ideas are generated in meetings with colleagues in informal settings such as a restaurant or pub.

Mike Hockey, director at 2e2, said: “Employers often don’t realise the impact of working culture on productivity. Different people have different working patterns and the traditional 9 to 5 way of working doesn’t suit everyone.”

He added: “It’s clear that often employees would be more productive if they had flexible hours or could work from home. However, an organisation’s culture can often mean that this isn’t possible or, if people do work in this way, they are seen as slackers. Bosses need to change this: they need to make it clear that working from home isn’t a perk and that it’s productivity and effectiveness that they care about, not hours behind a desk.”

The study also looked at the impact of commuting on productivity. It was shown that transport problems or delays are causing UK workers to lose on average 1.5 working days each year, costing UK businesses £1.21 billion in lost productivity. Worse still these bad journeys were causing workers to be more tired and stressed, resulting in further productivity losses to the tune of £1.03 billion a year. 2e2 says this means that the total transport-related productivity losses for UK plc are in excess of £2.24 billion. 

“The negative impact the daily commute can have on productivity shouldn’t be underestimated. If UK businesses can offer employees more flexible ways of working then those businesses stand to benefit massively. You only have to take next year’s 2012 London Olympics as an example: people are already being asked to work from home or alter their working routine as a consequence of the expected transport disruption. Certainly with today’s increased connectivity and the latest smartphones, tablets and laptops there are far fewer barriers to working flexibly than ever before. This means people can work more effectively at home, in the office or a combination of both,” added Mike Hockey.





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