I wonder how many of you got a chance to review the recent online survey carried out by BakkerElkhuizen among HR professionals in Germany, England, Belgium and the Netherlands on the theme ‘Flexible Working’. What made it particularly interesting to me was that UK came out top of the table when it came to organisations that had already implemented flexible working.
Here are some of the findings I found particularly noteworthy:
The motivation for organisations to implement flexible working: The survey found that in the UK, 85% of HR professionals saw a rise in productivity and generally in the UK, Germany and Belgium, the main argument for flexible working was “higher staff satisfaction”, the exception was in the Netherlands where cost-savings on buildings and workstations was more compelling.
The top 3 most important reasons why flexible working has not yet been implemented:
- Companies are still looking into the possibilities of flexible working
- Staff are tied to a fixed place and time because of their specific duties
- The organisation feels that the presence of staff is necessary.
The main reason given not to implement flexible working: When an organisation did not see any advantages in flexible working, they gave the reason that it is not possible for all staff to work at varying times and/or places and that they wish to treat all staff equally. At most organisations flexible working is not possible across all members of the workforce.
Infrastructure and support for flexible working: Unsurprisingly, ICT infrastructure was seen as the most essential tool for flexible working by half of the respondents in England, the Netherlands and Belgium.
My organisation does have the infrastructure available to manage a remote workforce and experience has shown that it is an important requirement is for flexible workers to have all the information and security they would find in an office environment available at home or on the move. Also important is the ability to track and monitor employee productivity and hours worked and a modern workforce management solution makes this much easier.