Optimised flexible working can boost productivity, report claims

Tuesday 16 July 2013


UK businesses could reduce costs and experience major productivity gains by optimising their approach to flexible working, it has been claimed.

In a new report, think tank RSA and Vodafone UK claim that productivity gains running up to £8.1 billion are achievable by fully embracing smart working in Britain.

Employees surveyed for the study estimate they could gain five productive hours on average per week through better ways of working.

RSA and Vodafone UK say this equates to around £4,200 per employee, per year.

The study found that 77 per cent of UK employees work in organisations that offer some kind of flexible working, however 13 per cent who want to work flexibly are not being given the option.

Some 64 per cent of those with experience of flexible working say it has enhanced their job satisfaction.

Jeroen Hoencamp, enterprise director at Vodafone UK, said "the traditional workplace is dead" and British business needs to adopt a new mindset.

"Flexible working isn’t just working from home and these findings reveal that, with an optimised approach, businesses can overcome any downsides and greatly increase efficiency and productivity, as well as boost their bottom line," he stated.

"We want to see organisations and their employees work well and live well. In the global race for growth, organisations should embrace better ways of working consciously as a strategy for success as opposed to ignoring them."

Mr Hoencamp said companies can see "real, tangible benefits" by taking this approach, as the latest research demonstrates.

Julian Thompson, director of enterprise at the RSA, said flexible working has to be something organisations and employees develop together as part of a strategy to increase the value of their work.

“Our findings show that there is no 'one size fits all' approach, and that there are costs to be considered," he stated.

"But enabling people to work flexibly can make a significant difference to our economic and social prosperity, both now and in the future."

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Posted by Steve Williams