Flexibility boosts output, firms told


Flexibility boosts output, firms told

Bill Goodwin

Working from home for part of the week could significantly improve the productivity of IT staff, according to the IT Forum Foundation, which is backing a three-year campaign to encourage businesses to “work smarter”.

“In Europe, British workers spend by far the longest time travelling – as much as 47 working days per year, with commuters in the South East facing an average of eight hours a week,” said Phil Flaxton, chief executive of the foundation.

The IT Forum Foundation said staff could save 19 working days a year by working from home for two days a week. Working from home also brings cash savings. A typical train commuter could save £12 a day, including fares and sundry expenses, said the foundation. A typical road commuter could save £14 a day, or £30 a day in London, if congestion and parking charges are included.

The campaign has won backing from the Trades Union Congress and employers organisation the Confederation of British Industry.

Brendon Barber, general secretary of the TUC, said, “Working week figures do not take into account travel time, which in some areas of the country is very significant. Simply reducing that element, or enabling the staggering of the rush hour, will have a fundamental impact on people’s lives.”

CBI director general Digby Jones said smarter flexible working was here to stay. “These new ways of working have benefits for companies seeking to recruit, motivate and retain valued staff, and for employees who have hectic or demanding jobs,” he said.

Jones added that flexible working also benefited the economy through higher productivity and reduced pressure on the transport infrastructure.



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