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Home is where the work is

Business executives are taking to home and flexible working practices with gusto, but have little interest in sophisticated data access away from the office, according to a recent report.

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Business executives are taking to home and flexible working practices with gusto, but have little interest in sophisticated data access away from the office, according to a recent report.

Employees at all levels agree that staff are more motivated and productive if they are offered flexible working practices, and this is translating into healthier revenue.

But most of the 900 EMEA executives surveyed by on-demand access specialist Citrix Systems just wanted access to their e-mail and calendars when out of the office, rather than company databases or research tools.

By 2009, IDC estimates that a quarter of the global workforce will be home or mobile employees.

While there were concerns over the costs and data security, as well as the managerial issues such as self-motivation and teamwork, support for flexible working was universal across the continent.

Flexible work practices are a key recruitment and retention strategy, according to the recent Motivation Matters study by the Chartered Management Institute. The research shows managers are plagued by the long hours culture rife in UK plc and seek greater control over how they work. About half of the companies surveyed employ flexible working practices to improve the work-life balance of workers and to attract highly qualified professionals.

Almost a third of the managers interviewed wanted a shorter working week, while 17% believed that flexitime would give them greater control over their working lives.

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