Flexible working could save the UK economy billions

Research from Citrix and Cebr has found that more flexible working could save the UK economy billions as well as including more people into the workforce

There have been many metrics used to justify remote working with staff often quoting back increased efficiency and greater flexibility as two of the main reasons that they should be allowed to take advantage of mobile technology and connect from anywhere.

As well as home working there has also been an increase in the blurring of the lines between the office and the outside environment as a result of BYOD and people choosing to work off site.

Research from Citrix and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has provided those champions of flexible working with some more ammunition arguing that it could save the UK economy £11.5bn annually.

A huge chunk of those savings, £7.1bn, would come as a result of reduced commuting costs and the half a billion hours that would be regained, instead of being spent travelling.

The research also found that there was a strong appetite for flexible working with 96% of those that have the option to so so taking it up and 83% reporting that they would take advantage of their allowances if they were made available.

"Over recent years many organisations have become firm advocates of the benefits of flexible working and this study verifies the impact such a culture can bring to the wider UK economy," said Jacqueline de Rojas, area vice president, Northern Europe at Citrix.

She added that technology now made it possible for people to "work from anywhere, at any time", and more employers needed to move away from pushing a nine to five office based approach to the working day.

The Citrix and Cebr findings also revealed that as well as money savings the other benefit to the UK economy could be the abiloity to include some workers that have previously been excluded because they are caring for relatives, disabled or suffering from illness.

"Businesses in the UK need to look very closely at the provisions they make for flexible working. Those that choose not to enable workplace mobility will lose out in the war for talent and could arguable suffer from lower employee productivity," added de Rojas.

Read more on Business Tablets