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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Appetite for flexible working grows, survey finds

The summer's sporting events have boosted the appetite for flexible working, according to a new survey by Vodafone UK.

A survey of workers in London and the Home Counties on behalf of Vodafone UK reveals that, following their experiences during the last two weeks, more than half would welcome the chance to work flexibly more often.

Furthermore, employers are becoming increasingly open to allowing different ways of working. More than half of the workers surveyed said that their bosses already enable flexible working or would be more open to doing so following the experiences of the last two weeks.

Peter Boucher, commercial marketing director at Vodafone UK, said: "It is not surprising that the events of the last two weeks are emerging as a turning point in the way Britain is working. For employers and their staff, this has been a 'taster' for a different way of doing business. Many will have found that this can be just as effective - and often more so - than the traditional nine-to-five at your office desk."

Findings reveal that almost a quarter of all workers (24 per cent) changed their normal arrangements, working from home or alternative business locations for some or all of the two-week period.

Interestingly, of those people who changed their working arrangements, nearly three-quarters said they had worked more productively as a result of the change. They reported that their productivity had increased thanks mainly to fewer distractions and disruptions (34 per cent) and less time spent commuting (32 per cent).

A much smaller share (24 per cent) felt that they had become less productive, identifying distractions and disruptions (15 per cent) as the most important reason for this, alongside concerns around technology, systems and information access.

"With the cost of mobile and broadband technologies coming down and initiatives such as 'bring your own device' (BYOD) offering further cost and management advantages, there are fewer and fewer reasons for businesses to tie staff to their office chair. Productivity is best measured by results achieved, rather than by the amount of time spent in the office each day," Boucher concluded.


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