Training Managers Is the Key to Making Flexible Working a Success; Research Suggests Poor Management Is the Biggest Barrier to the Success of Flexible Working. Hayley Dunne of Chwarae Teg Explains Why Training Is the Key to Ensuring That Organisations of All Sizes Benefit from This Most Powerful of Business Tools
Byline: Hayley Dunne
THE news that the number of flexible workers in the UK has jumped sharply shows that an increasing number of firms are waking up to the benefits of flexible working practices.
The CBI's employment trends survey of 513 respondents, employing more than a million staff, revealed that almost half of all employers offer remote working to staff, up from 14% two years ago and 11%in 2004.
In a tough economic climate businesses are under increasing pressure to improve efficiency, become more responsive to customers and stakeholder expectations and make cost savings.
With resources already stretched in many organisations, finding ways to help staff to work smarter is a realistic and sustainable way to deliver these objectives.
Flexibility is the key to smarter working, allowing employers together with employees to find creative ways to maintain output, while at the same time achieving a balance for the individual between the demands of work and home.
Innovative companies are increasingly building flexible working into their workforce planning strategies to help them gain an edge in an increasingly diverse and competitive employment market. It is no coincidence that many of Wales' most successful and prominent companies - such as BT and Admiral Insurance-are longtime champions of flexible working practices.
Chwarae Teg works with employers all over Wales to help them implement flexibility in the way that is most advantageous to their business.
We have found that flexible working helps employers not only to attract and retain talented people, but to increase efficiency, improve workforce motivation, reduce stress and reduce absenteeism through sickness.
When considering introducing flexible working initiatives, the focus tends to be on how to make it work, what systems are needed, what are the technological implications and concerns about trust. Often very little consideration is given to the skills required by line managers to implement new working practices. …