Flexible working gaining momentum among SMBs

Flexible working gaining momentum among SMBs

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of small or medium-sized businesses (SMBs) implementing a flexible working strategy are beginning to notice the benefits in terms of productivity, according to a new survey.

A YouGov poll commissioned by Citrix found of those companies, 24 per cent of SMBs adopting the use of personal devices were seeing improvements of over 20 per cent.

The results mark a significant amount of progress from when the last survey was taken two years ago, which showed that only 46 per cent of SMBs noticed a positive impact on the way in which they did business.

The number of SMBs claiming not see any improvement nearly halved from 27 per cent several years ago, to the current number of 14 per cent.

A rise in the uptake of flexible working has been credited to several reasons, including the pressures of reducing carbon footprints and catering to the needs of working parents.

Growth of bring your own device (BYOD) strategies has been seen by many as another contributing factor, with many bosses recognising the advantages such an approach can have on both productivity and employee retention.

That has led many workers to put pressure on their employers to bring in a sound flexible working strategy, causing many organisations to respond by introducing a 'work anywhere' approach, with tools such as cloud-based meeting and collaboration removing the barriers that would have previously made it impossible.

But there are still a number of firms that are reluctant to allow flexible working to become part of their framework due to harbouring several concerns, including the perception that it could lead to a potential loss of earnings, while other employers have expressed concerns over the fact that they cannot keep in touch with workers as effectively.

There has also been concerns that workers using their own devices could become distracted by conducting personal tasks during the working day.

But those fears over productivity have been successfully overcome by some companies, with half of those surveyed now claiming to have achieved gains in productivity of as much as 30 per cent, with 14 per cent reporting even greater increases.