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UK businesses lead the world in flexible working

Karl Flinders

Rising property prices and childcare costs are pressing UK organisations to introduce flexible working policies more than in any other country.

According to a survey of over 1,000 CIOs in 11 countries, carried out by Vanson Bourne for Citrix, there will be a 249% increase in the use of personal devices at work by UK workers by the end of 2013.

The research also revealed that 89% of businesses want employees to be able to work from home when they need to, with 83% believing it increases productivity.

The service-driven industry is part of the reason for the UK’s high predicted growth for flexible working, says Citrix. “These findings could be attributed to the service-led nature of UK industry with 84% of businesses implementing a workshifting policy to support workers who travel on a regular basis.”

The research also found that 61% see workshifting as a means to help improve customer service. “The ability to work in multiple locations allows staff to visit customer sites easily and provide assistance wherever they are located.”

“What was once an added bonus for employees is becoming increasingly commonplace,” said James Stevenson, UK president of Citrix.

He warns businesses only just beginning to look at flexible working not to forget about their IT strategy. “After all, implementing a policy is only half the battle. Making sure the right security measures are in place to protect confidential information and ensuring employee buy-in for supporting procedures is just as important.”

Citrix has a policy to allow workers to use their own devices at work, which makes flexible working easier.

Recent research from Microsoft revealed that, despite companies allowing flexible working, they are failing to provide the right technology to enable it.

In its New World of Work for Business Decision Makers survey, Microsoft quizzed 1,500 business leaders across Europe. The report said 90% of UK businesses now allow flexible working but revealed a lack of investment in the right technology and poor communication of polices to workers are holding back the benefits.


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