The much valued benefit of flexible working is now being used to attract employees, with over two thirds (64%) of employers saying it helps staff engagement and motivation, while 23% said it helped to keep staff who would otherwise leave, according to a recent survey from Hays, the leading recruiting experts.
Of the 69% of employers who offered flexible working options to their workforce, the choices ranged from flexitime (66%), reduced hours (54%) and working from home (50%). Over three quarters (78%) of employees said they did not have a working from home option. However, of those who did over half (58%) said they were more productive working from home. Despite the advantages of working home, employees said they missed contact with colleagues and loss of visibility in the office.
Pam Lindsay-Dunn, Regional Managing Director at Hays, says ‘There has been a clear shift in employer attitudes to flexible working over the last few years and they are now actively using this as a tool to motivate and engage their workforce in the absence of pay increases. Despite this new focus, our survey found that over a third (36%) of employers had not adapted their management training to provide additional support to managers who have people working flexibly in their teams. Clear guidelines are needed to ensure that change in working patterns work for both parties. Employees must follow the same rules as those working in an office, including treating company information as confidential and keeping equipment and data safe. It is also worth bearing in mind that not everyone will function well working alone and companies should have policies in place to deal with this.”