The UK government introduced a new Legislation earlier this year, giving all employees the right to request flexible work.
Looking at the productivity flexible working conditions can generate in the workplace is it any wonder that 4.2 million people already work from home in the UK? Who doesn’t want to tailor their hours or work from home? It would mean reduced travel costs, reduced time spent going to and from work and ultimately more time actually working. So surely this new legislation is beneficial to both the employer and the employee?
As we all know it is difficult to strike that perfect balance between work and our personal lives. However with this change employee’s now have the opportunity to change their normally strict hours to be more in line with their actual needs. This includes flexible start/finish times or working from home. For working parents they would be able to fit their hours around school drop-offs and pickups and we all know that will make life easier. It is not guaranteed that your employer will agree however the new legislation requires them to give a yes or no answer to the request. If the answer is no they have a legal obligation to provide you with a valid reason why.
Let’s look at the impact this will have on businesses. According to research by Citrix, only 55% of SMB (small-to-midsized businesses) decision makers were aware of the legislation, while 46% had no flexible working policy in place. Only 43% of SMBs support the legislation, but this resistance can often be attributed to lack of understanding and experience around flexible working. Those who approach the subject positively and with an open mind can often reap huge benefits amongst their staff in terms of reduced sick leave, increased productivity and job satisfaction, not to mention reduced stress levels.
Citrix GoToMeeting have put together a handy infographic to explain the ins and outs of this new flexible working legislation.