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This week I’ve read some really interesting facts on the subject of flexible working that we wanted to share with you.

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) published an in-depth report focusing on flexible working and the commute to work. The report showed that some organisations in the UK are beginning to offer flexible working to their employees (for the full report click here: http://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/employee-outlook-focus-on-commuting-and-flexible-working.pdf)

But then I also read a report on ITportal.com that stated that the UK is lagging behind other Western European countries when it comes to flexible and remote working (http://www.itproportal.com/2016/04/26/uk-lags-behind-others-in-remote-working-adoption/)

Market researchers IDC and software provider Cornerstone OnDemand polled 1,352 HR professionals and business managers working in organisations with over 500 employees in 16 countries to hear their views on the subject.

According to the report the UK polled next to Poland, Germany and Switzerland. In Poland less than 50% of workers are allowed to work from home, whereas in the Nordic countries this leaps to 87%. Not a good sign for those of us working in the UK.

So what’s standing in the way of making remote and flexible working a reality?

If we go back to the figures in the CIPD report we know that the obstacles include:

Nature of work not allowing it – 27%
Negative attitude of senior management and line managers – 15%
Engrained in the work culture – 13%
Not even an option in their industry – 13%
Lack of trust – 9%
Figures in the report show that senior and middle managers (24%) are the most likely to be able to work from home regularly, so perhaps the ability to work remotely is based on someone’s personality and drive to succeed rather than being allowed to.

The report did also show that 65% of flexible workers are satisfied or very satisfied with their Work Life Balance compared to 47% of employees who don’t work flexibly.

Those who are able to work remotely said that the biggest benefits to them include:

Better Work Life Balance – 65%
Reduces stress and relieves pressure – 29%
More productive in their chosen environment – 25%
Reduces commuting time – 23%
Allows you to spend more time caring for friends and family – 22%
When building up the KnownFour brand from scratch my business partner and I always knew that to stand out from the crowd, attract the best in the business and make an impact in the industry we’re in, we had to develop a business with a difference.

As working parents we know how hard it can be to separate work and life as often the two entwine. We’ve lived through the reality of missing important appointments, school plays and parents evenings but didn’t want this to define our working day going forward.

Some days you need a little extra time in bed or you need to visit the dentist and other days you’re prepared to stay up all night working because you’ve got an important meeting or pitch to prepare for.

But it’s all relative. The idea that we can all get up, get to work for 9am and all function at our best is not the way forward. This is why businesses need to embrace change, trust their employees to do the work they need to do and watch their own company grow.

We’ve learnt the hard way that flexible and remote working isn’t for everyone, but for those who it is good for need to be given the opportunity to grow and flourish and help drive your business forward.

Published inBlog

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