Businesses are finally getting more flexible
We posted a while back our Top Ten Tips on Working From Home (it’s not as easy as you think, as anyone who has done it will testify). But of course, pitfalls aside, it’s still the most practical and desirable work solution for so much of the work force – and it’s been going that way for a very long time now. My eldest is 13, and around the time he was born legislation was brought in that meant I could absolutely have flexible working conditions – just as long as my employer couldn’t prove that I needed to be in the office. Naturally, in those days we were internet-less in the workplace, and my boss couldn’t see how I cold possibly do admin work from home – I was the ‘hub to the departments wheel’. Yuh.
These days I’m older, wiser, and would argue louder and longer. But then, these days I probably wouldn’t have to, according to a new Flexible Working Perceptions survey. Commissioned by Microsoft Corp the study among business leaders across 15 Western European countries shows that the majority are very optimistic about the benefits (both for the business AND the employee) of flexible working practices. The downside is that these forward-thinking people are still yet to implement a strategy for making new ways of working a reality.
However, 82 per cent of European businesses report allowing flexible working – that’s a HUGE percentage, with Germany, the UK and Norway leading the way with their flexible attitudes.
“Businesses that will be successful in the future will be those who break down the barriers between people, workplaces and technologies and empower their employees to be productive and creative wherever they are,” says Klaus Holse, vice president, Microsoft Western Europe. “If European businesses want to fully reap the benefits of flexible working, they need to make information, interaction and access readily available to all their knowledge workers. IT is a catalyst for new ways of working, but competitive advantage increasingly comes from letting employees use technology in the way they want to. This requires a business culture that puts people first.”