Flexible Working- Are You Ready?

By Matthew Watts

10 years ago

New changes surrounding flexible working have recently come into effect.  From 30th June 2014, employees with 26 weeks service or more will be able to request flexible working (or a new variation in work pattern, to quote the official statement).  This could include, part-time or term-time working, job sharing, shift work and/or working from home (remote working). Until this recent change, only those with children under 17 years of age were able to make such a request.

There is an important distinction that states that employees only have the right to request flexible working, it is not the right to be given flexible working.

What Does this Mean for UK Companies?

Firstly, up to now it has only been available to those who have children under 17. You have three months to consider and respond to the request and you are allowed to reject flexible working requests.  If a rejection is the only way forward, your company would have to provide clear business reasons for the rejection.

What Are The Benefits of Flexible Working?

The benefits of flexible working include increased motivation, productivity and retention.  This could lead to better customer service and possibly increased office open hours.

In our experience, working more flexibly doesn’t mean working less hard; it often means just the opposite.  We strongly believe that work is something you do, not somewhere you go!

BT’s research shows that the average productivity of an individual working from home is 20% higher than when they are in the office. The growth of homeworking at BT delivers an additional £8m onto the bottom line every year.

Can Pioneer Help Deliver Flexible Working?

Pioneer Business Systems can offer solutions to companies just like yours to deliver seamless flexible and remote working options that will positively affect the way your business runs.

Let’s take Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) as an example; linking your computers to your telephones (no matter where they are) means that all of the linked phones will be an internal extension.  With CTI transferring calls between different sites, locations or people is as if you were transferring calls internally.  You would also be able to see who is on the phone, view live call reports and see statistics like talk time and number of calls made. This is just one of the ways our system helps to enable flexible working.

To summarise, we believe flexible working is good for business, but for most organisations it requires a shift in mind set and culture.  Are you ready? Call one of our Business Advisors today 0330 014 3010.