Businesses not embracing remote working

Whilst employers claim to be keen on flexible working, employees still have their doubts around company policy

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Companies still have reservations about flexible and remote working, despite a call from employees to embrace it.

This was the finding of a survey from O2, which showed disparity between what businesses said in public about their attitudes towards working remotely and the perception of their workers.

Of the 400 firms questioned in the study, 77% claimed to actively encourage flexible working, with networking and mobile technologies making this easier than ever before.

However, just 19% of the 2,000 employees surveyed said they were encouraged by bosses to work in a more flexible way, despite 75% feeling they were at their most productive when doing so.

“Just six months since Britain’s biggest flexible working opportunity, the Olympics, it’s shocking that less than one fifth of people feel they are encouraged to work flexibly,” said Ben Dowd, director of O2 Business.

“Businesses must sit up and take notice of this critical evolution in employee behaviour and create a business culture equipped to support it.”

Other findings from the survey included those higher up the career ladder feeling they led by example, with 70% of managers claiming to work from home or being more flexible in their hours. Yet, only 18% of employees agreed with the statement.

When it came to policies, 56% of employers felt theirs were clear around flexible working and although more employees agreed, the number was still relatively low at 30%.

In terms of the technology involved, 54% of companies felt they provided what was needed to their workers if they wanted to work from home, but just 33% agreed they had the tools at their disposal.

“Talking about [flexible working] simply isn’t enough,” added Dowd. “To create a truly flexible working culture, actions speak louder than words.”

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