94% of firms offer flexible working

94% of firms offer flexible working

Flexible working is booming at the moment on the back of the rise of the smartphone and tablet in the hands of workers, with 94 per cent of firms offering some sort of flexibility to their members of staff.

That is according to the latest Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) survey, which was turned into a white paper.
The organisation indicated that the trend is becoming the "new normal" within many organisations and it is now very much in the mainstream.

Half of the respondents to the survey explained that flexible working is now standard practice, rather than an anomaly and four-in-five managers admitted to taking advantage of the trend in the last four years.

The majority of managers questioned said increased flexibility and the use of mobile devices is beneficial to their business, creating improvements in productivity, worker commitment to the business and the retention of staff.

ILM found that those who have experienced flexibility within their hours and place of work are most likely to have a positive opinion of the trend, indicating that work still needs to be done by firms to promote the working practice to those who have not embraced it, with many of them still feeling it is an easier life.

A third of respondents said derogatory remarks had been made about flexible workers and one in five think working flexibly would be "career limiting" in their organisation.

The ILM also discovered that the gender balance is beginning to even out in terms of flexible working. There was a period when it was only used by working mothers, but now men have caught up and are utilising the benefits that come from the trend.

For firms struggling to embrace flexibility and the technology that goes with it, the organisations recommended measuring the company's output, rather than the hours people are putting in.

"The notable shift towards flexible working represents a change in thinking – performance is no longer measured by attendance, but instead by who is producing results," the organisation concluded.