A think-tank report published this week sponsored by Vodafone surveyed 2,828 employees. It found employees estimate they could gain on average 5 productive hours a week from being allowed to work flexibly – that’s the equivalent of £4,200 a year per person.
While 77% of UK employees work in companies that offer flexible working, 23% do not. Of those, 13% would like to. The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) report said allowing those 13% to work flexibly would mean £8.1bn for the economy once costs were taken into account.
Jeroen Hoencamp, enterprise director at Vodafone UK, said: “The traditional workplace is dead and British business needs to adopt a new mind-set. Flexible working isn’t just working from home and these findings reveal that, with an optimised approach, businesses can overcome any downsides and greatly increase efficiency and productivity, as well as boost their bottom line.”
The report said there needs to be a culture of mutual trust between employers and workers for the full benefits of flexible working to be realised.
Julian Thompson, director of enterprise at the RSA, added: “Our findings show that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, and that there are costs to be considered. But enabling people to work flexibly can make a significant difference to our economic and social prosperity, both now and in the future.”
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