Technology adoption leading to more demand for flexible working

Technology adoption leading to more demand for flexible working

The recent rapid growth in usage of tablets and smartphones in everyday life is leading to a rise in the demand for flexible working in the UK, according to new research.

Figures published by Polycom, found that the growth of technology in the last ten years has led to workers expecting to be allowed to work more flexibly and fit their corporate commitments around their home life.

The demands seem to be striking a chord with organisations as the study found that the number of people working from home has doubled from 21 per cent to 40 per cent, while 44 per cent of firms now offer some sort of flexibility, up from 28 per cent.

Despite recent positive changes, 25 per cent of office staff in the UK would prefer a better relationship between their working hours and lifestyle, with the main reasons being to better align with their partners and children, or to avoid commuting.

Gary Rider, president at Polycom EMEA said that businesses still have some way to go to offer the flexibility desired by workers.

However, he added: "At the same time flexible working arrangements benefit everyone: employees who want a better work/life balance, businesses who would enjoy a more productive workforce and the UK economy that needs to reduce the £8bn annual spend on congestion."

Changes in the way employees communicate has led to the rise of the smartphones and tablets in the workplace, with many unable to do their jobs without the technology.

Mobile phone use has increased dramatically and one in ten respondents now use a tablet at work.

The adoption of video conferencing has increased significantly, with 26 per cent using it ten years ago and 42 per cent doing so now, with men more likely to use mobile devices for enterprise purposes.

Respondents also suggested flexible working would enable them to move to more rural areas, which could mean UK employers would be able to recruit from a larger pool of candidates, particularly if flexible working was offered.