Flexible working should be embraced by managers as it can bring a wide range of benefits to any business, a new report has indicated.
According to research conducted by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) as part of its Flexible Work Commission, being adaptable with members of staff is the most effective way for bosses to lead their workforce.
The study - which involved questioning 29 firms and business bodies both at home and abroad - established that taking this modern approach can help cut absenteeism, boost morale and productivity and help attract and retain top talent.
Such factors mean the adoption of flexible practices - such as permitting people to operate from home and use compressed hours - offer companies a competitive advantage over their rivals.
With this in mind, the REC has offered companies advice on how to improve the level of flexibility in their workplace, including the need to reinforce the fact that such practices are available to all members of staff, not just certain sections or departments.
Furthermore, businesses have been urged to improve their training of managers in order to provide them with the skills and confidence needed to lead flexible teams effectively.
Meanwhile, the body also called on the government to drive the debate about flexible working beyond its parameters of being solely for families by encouraging all areas of the public sector to embrace this way of operating.
Kevin Green - chief executive of the REC, a body with 3,776 corporate members - commented: "A wider understanding of flexible work needs to be adopted by government to help move the debate beyond the current focus on family friendly working practices."
Mr Green went on to say that contracting, part-time positions and other flexible solutions have all been a "significant factor" in helping people remain in work throughout the global slump.
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Posted by Trusha Vyas