Call for IT managers to ‘champion’ flexible working

159876538_992720bc6f_oFlexible working practices are not being uniformly adopted in local authorities, the public sector and the third sector, the Society of IT Managers has said.

The membership association for ICT managers working in those fields said that “while there has been a strong increase in adoption of flexible working in the revenues and benefits function and some in education, four other services show a significant decline with others appearing to be static”. It calls on ICT managers to “champion” flexible working in their organisations.

The briefing said three key issues are holding back flexible working: the desire not to lose human contact with colleagues; management culture; and job insecurity.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that middle managers who fear loss of ‘line of sight management’ are threatening flexible working, said the society. It also points to employees’ desire to have their contribution noticed and says workers may feel this is more easily achieved by being in the office, than if they are working from home.

“Despite these barriers, public service organisations should push ahead with flexible working where the conditions are favourable,” said Chris Head, author of the briefing. “Technology enables all of this. Personal devices are smaller, lighter and more powerful. Mobile access is near-ubiquitous and set to reach 98% of the population. Security issues are largely solved apart from behavioural problems that lie outside the control of technology.”

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