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UK managers believe flexible working boosts productivity, says study

Written by Thu 12 Jan 2023

Despite some worries that flexible working may cause staff to not work as hard or take longer breaks, a new study by the Equal Parenting Project shows these concerns are not shared by most UK managers.

Driven by a once-in-a-generation shift in working patterns, remote and flexible working became the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the use of innovative cloud solutions that enable employees to work from virtually anywhere, companies were quick to allow staff to work from home.

The study involving 597 UK managers revealed that 75% agreed flexible working improves productivity and more than 62% believed it boosts motivation. The number of managers expecting their employees to be in the office just one day a week almost doubled from 10.5% in 2021 to 20.4% in 2022.

One of the authors, Sarah Forbes at the University of York, said: “This is really positive news for parents, carers and those who want to work flexibly for wellbeing reasons. This change is likely to be particularly helpful for women, who have suffered from a lack of good quality well-paid flexible working over the years.”

The study also addressed concerns around surveillance, with almost a third of managers reporting that their employers used surveillance software and/or monitored emails.

There’s no question that the emergence of advanced technology has played a central role in not only enabling companies alike to embrace flexible working, but also giving employees the tools to thrive in a new normal. For companies that may once have had reservations around the security of sensitive data accessed off-site, the new breed of secure cloud products go a long way to eliminating these concerns.

Collaboration that took place in-person can just as easily be replicated through modern apps like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. While there may have been a range of teething problems during the switch from a predominantly in-person workplace to a flexible workforce, the benefits of this new way of working are now settling in.

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Written by Thu 12 Jan 2023

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