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How the UK could benefit from an extra £11.5bn through flexible working

February 24 2015 10:00 AM

The Centre for Economics and Business Research* has recently carried out a piece of research on flexible working, discussing the benefits the UK could stand to gain from a “work from anywhere” culture.

Many reports have been produced, but these findings are worth paying attention to, mainly because it’s clear there are still so many opportunities in this area that organisations in the public sector have yet to seize. And this can only mean good news for companies looking to service these public sector organisations.

The report found that 96% of UK workers that have the option to work flexibly, do so regularly, with a further 83% stating that they would do it too, should the option be made available to them. This is a significant chunk of the workforce who have yet to be given that choice. Even more significant is that if that 83% became a reality, the UK economy could benefit from a staggering extra £11.5bn, simply gained through a more productive use of working hours. An additional £7.1bn could also be saved through less commuting.

But the benefits could have an even wider reach
The research also highlighted how flexible working practices could boost the UK economy even further. Individuals such as the unemployed, retired, disabled, house-wives/husbands would be more inclined to consider returning to work if they could do so flexibly – the results tell us that a staggering 68% would.

What‘s the hold up then?
So why, after so much proof of cost efficiencies, improved work/life balance, higher talent retention, are there still so many organisations sticking to rigid, unyielding and outdated working practices?  

With the austerity measures still biting hard, public sector organisations are certainly re-evaluating their ways of working, wishing to achieve much needed cost efficiencies.

But many are still unsure on how to go about this. How and where should they spend their increasingly precious budgets? Will it really work? And, more crucially, whom can they trust to hold their hands, through this change and beyond?

This is where there’s a big opportunity for companies offering solutions tailored to the public sector. This is a chance to help them transform. Show them and reassure them on how this can be achieved with examples of how others have done it. Reach out to them – and do it regularly – with content and information that resonates with their situation and challenges.  

This will build confidence and relevance for your brand, which, in turn, is sure to go a long way to increasing consideration and ultimately preference for your technology and services.

*Source: PT.net, Feb 2015

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3 Comments

John Bottom's avatar John Bottom

February 24 2015 11:24 AM

Personally, I think companies are reluctant to encourage flexible working for fear of abuse. Smaller companies tend to take a more liberal approach to this, because it is very clear whether people are being productive. In larger organisations, not only is it easier to hide, but it’s someone’s job to monitor it, which can’t be easy. But then again, productivity measurement and remote workforce management are some of the great opportunities out there for the tech providers…

Ada Nisbet

February 24 2015 1:23 PM

It is true John that fear of loss of productivity/abuse has been a key factor in slowing down the wave of change in this area for a long time. But now attitudes within public sector are definitely shifting. Employees’ growing demands and the huge pressure to do more and better with far less budgets, have been compelling drivers for organisations to change how things are done. Though the government austerity measures have played a big part in practically forcing public sector to re-evaluate working practices and take action, the many leaders we’ve spoken to over the last two years, have all accepted that changing how their people work is not just a necessity but it is actually a positive step towards becoming more efficient, better at serving their citizens and overall creating a healthier working culture. As such, they have embraced the idea of transformation, so their issues are now far less about ‘should’ we do it and more about ‘how to’ do it. Specifically, whom can they trust to help them making these changes. All of them mentioned trust as one of the most important thing, this was closely followed by the concern of selecting a supplier (especially a technology one), who can help with the initial implementation but then who will still be around to support them beyond that.

Ada Nisbet's avatar Ada Nisbet

February 25 2015 4:42 PM

It is true John that fear of loss of productivity/abuse has been a key factor in slowing down the wave of change in this area for a long time. But now attitudes within public sector are definitely shifting. Employees’ growing demands and the huge pressure to do more and better with far less budgets, have been compelling drivers for organisations to change how things are done. Though the government austerity measures have played a big part in practically forcing public sector to re-evaluate working practices and take action, the many leaders we’ve spoken to over the last two years have all accepted that changing how their people work is not just a necessity but it is actually a positive step towards becoming more efficient, better at serving their citizens and overall creating a healthier working culture. As such, they have embraced the idea of transformation, so their issues are now far less about ‘should’ we do it and more about ‘how to’ do it. Specifically, whom can they trust to help them making these changes. All of them mentioned trust as one of the most important thing, this was closely followed by the concern of selecting a supplier (especially a technology one), who can help with the initial implementation but also who will still be around to support them beyond that.

February 19 2017 9:01 PM

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