It has been a year since legislation was passed giving employees the right to request flexible working, what impact has it had on UK businesses?
Microsoft have carried out some research to explore the response to the changes and have found that uptake has been slow with only a fifth having tried flexible working. The majority of those who had, found their working lives were improved.
Of those who had taken up flexible working:
– over 33% felt more motivated
– 36% found they were more productive
– 52% had seen an improved work / life balance.
What about employers? For those who have adopted flexible working, most found it to be a positive change, particularly in small companies, where staff may need to multi-task. The ability to work remotely and flexibly caused employees to feel more positive about their employer and can have an impact on productivity, leading to growth. With the technology available, communication between colleagues doesn’t seem to suffer.
However, not all SME employees are offered this opportunity – 44% said they just weren’t able to work remotely, and suggested that this had a stifling effect on creativity.
As a result of this survey, Microsoft urged employers to reimagine how workers operate, adding that this may positively impact the UK’s stagnant productivity levels.
Hannah Darby, a Recruitment Consultant from our Office & Commercial Team reflects on the survey, saying “These results indicate that promoting flexible working could be an important recruitment and retention advantage. The attractions are obvious to potential staff and your existing employees feel in control of their own lives and more loyal to the employer. Ignoring it may even carry a risk of missing out on great candidates who would assist your company in growing.”