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Report: Many companies failing to implement flexibility

Report: Many companies failing to implement flexibility

Companies are failing to reap the benefits of flexible working, despite the widespread willingness of employees to embrace new professional practices.

That is according to new research carried out by O2, which has found there to be a significant discrepancy between firms and their members of staff in terms of perceptions towards flexibility.

For instance, the study - which involved questioning 2,000 office workers and 400 managers across the country - established that while 77 per cent of organisations believe they actively encourage flexibility within their workplace, just 19 per cent of employees agree with this sentiment.

This survey was conducted to mark one year since the communication giant's flexible working pilot carried out prior to the Olympics and showed that many businesses have not taken advantage of the benefits London 2012 could have offered their organisation.

The lack of flexibility in places of work could be costly in terms of output, as 75 per cent of individuals believe they are at their most productive when they are allowed to choose and change where they work.

In addition, O2 showed there is a clear disconnect in terms of what companies say and do when it comes to offering flexibility, with the majority of employers (54 per cent) insisting they give staff the necessary tools and technology to complete their work remotely.

However, just 30 per cent employees go along with this assertion.

Meanwhile, 70 per cent of decision-makers indicated they try to set a positive example by regularly working from home or altering their working patterns, but just 18 per cent of workers feel this to be the case.

Ben Dowd, business director at O2, commented: "Just six months since Britain’s biggest flexible working opportunity, the Olympics, it's shocking that less than one fifth of people feel they are encouraged to work flexibly."

Mr Dowd went on to say it is vital for bosses to "sit up and take notice of this critical evolution in employee behaviour and create a business culture equipped to support it".

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Posted by Chris Stevenson