Just 40% of firms allowing flexible working

Just 40% of firms allowing flexible working

Just 40 per cent of firms in the UK are allowing their staff to work remotely, even though the benefits of the practice have been widely documented.

The BYOD (bring your own device) trend has been seen to increase productivity and efficiency, and when combined with cloud computing, video conferencing and VoIP, working away from the office has a host of benefits for both workers and employers.

Despite the positives to come from the advances made in technology in recent years, many UK firms are failing to embrace them, according to research from Polycom.

The study found that the number of people working from home has increased from 21 per cent to 40 per cent in the past ten years, but with such technology at their fingertips, the firm believes this number should be higher.

Gary Rider, EMEA president at Polycom, noted that the usage of video conferencing has increased significantly in the last decade, with 42 per cent of companies questioned now using the technology, compared to 26 per cent in 2002.

"Businesses have changed significantly over the past ten years thanks to technological innovation, but our survey findings show that the majority of employers still don't provide their staff with enough flexibility," he added.

Companies that do allow workers more freedom when it comes to when and where they do their job tend to experience a boost in efficiency and productivity, as well as a fall in costs, something that is crucial in today's environment.

Attracting and retaining top-quality staff can also be helped by the introduction of new technologies based around flexible working, particularly as more young people join the working world.

A recent blog post for Information Daily, written by Zoe Mitchell, head of human resources at Graduate Prospects, pointed out that many businesses are turning to flexible working to appeal to young people.

"For businesses looking to grow their graduate talent base there's no doubt that flexible working is attractive to this group, but with it comes a whole new set of challenges," she explained.