Workers not taking up flexible working legislation

Workers not taking up flexible working legislation

The last year was one in which a number of flexible working practices thrived, with bring your own device (BYOD) trends often working alongside methods such as video conferencing and cloud computing to make an organisation's operations more flexible and productive.

While there is plenty of evidence to suggest that these approaches are popular with businesses across the UK, there are also figures that suggest that many employees are still not taking up their right to flexible working, which was introduced as part of recent government legislation.

A study conducted by O2 found that although more than half (54 per cent) of British workers are aware of the right to request flexible working, only 23 per cent have actually managed to take advantage of such an approach.

The research found that one of the main issues preventing employees from adopting a flexible approach to working was to do with trust, which was cited by 31 per cent of respondents.

Another 28 per cent said that their company's general culture did not fit in with flexible working, while a further 20 per cent claimed their organisation lacked the relevant facilities and technology.

Such a culture appears to be showing little sign of changing over the course of the next 12 months, with just 12 per cent of respondents claiming that their organisation or employer is likely to introduce flexible working over the next 12 months.

Paul Lawton, general manager of SMB for O2 Business said: "It’s encouraging to see more people becoming aware of the right to request legislation since it came into force in June.

"However, our research shows that the pressure to be seen in the office and a lack of tools to enable remote working are still preventing the benefits that working flexibly brings, such as improved morale, high levels of employer loyalty and productivity gains."