Companies Losing Productivity by Not Allowing Flexible Working

Working remotely improves employee productivity, according to a survey of over 300 London business people, commissioned by Sirenic.

70% of respondents claim they would be more effective if they could work flexibly but only 49% admitted that their companies offered this option, showing that businesses are failing to get the best out of their staff.

The most common reasons for needing to work away from the office were business trips and attending meetings (46%). However, the unbearably hot office conditions this summer attributed to 15% working from home and 6% required flexible working to accommodate changes in childcare arrangements over the holidays. Interestingly, 8% of respondents said that they would take the opportunity to get away from annoying colleagues.

Email access is considered the most important factor for successful remote working according to 66% of respondents.

Bertrand Lipworth, Chairman, Sirenic, says: “Some employers are still wary of offering flexible working, as they believe that employees will take advantage. But remote working is about trusting people to use their time more efficiently – catching up with emails while on the train, between meetings, commuting (by car even with voice access), working from home while waiting for deliveries or checking emails whilst on a business trip.”

Despite popular belief, employees are unlikely to exploit flexible working according to the survey. 81% of employees whose companies offered the option had worked remotely less than three days last month, with more than half not working away from the office at all.

Lipworth continues: “This statistic could be attributed to poor remote working facilities. If companies are offering mobile working, they should ensure that they provide the necessary technology that enables them to check and to respond to their most important emails, and manage contacts and tasks securely.”