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Charlie Duff

Sift Media

Editor, HRzone.co.uk

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Flexible working is for senior staff only, say some

flexible_working

Although 83% of UK employers now offer flexible working options, just under two out of five limit the benefit to senior personnel only.
 

This is despite the fact that 55% find that flexible working costs them less than more traditional office-based activity, boosts staff productivity (40%) and enhances staff motivation levels (36%)
 
The survey undertaken among 4,000 senior managers and business owners by office space provider Regus also revealed that flexible working encouraged staff to be more self-sufficient and proactive (37%), helped employers to recruit from a wider talent pool (21%) and enabled a better work-life balance (67%).
 
Just over one in five even said that they believed flexible working practices to be key to gaining the “business scalability” required to grow as the economy emerged from recession.
 
Celia Donne, Regus’ regional director, said: “By basing the right to flexibility on seniority, some firms are missing huge opportunities and may even alienate new talent that they may have gone to a great effort to attract.”
 
With the government announcing that it would appoint a taskforce of business leaders and organisations to encourage flexible working practices in the private sector, it was disappointing to see that some companies were letting “trust issues” hold them back in extending such rights to all personnel, she added.
 
The news came as a study from Deloitte revealed that a third of large firms intend to allow their staff to work flexibly during the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year. Some 32% will enable their employees to take time off work to see the games and catch up on lost hours at the start and end of the day, while 44% will encourage them to attend the Games and 42% plan to install screens in communal work areas.
 
But three out of five respondents said that they would not make any changes to flexible working policies and 29% said that they would not allow staff to watch the Games during the working day at all.

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Charlie Duff

Editor, HRzone.co.uk

Read more from Charlie Duff
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