It’s official: flexible working is better, and it’s here to stay.
We’ve been saying it for ages and now the evidence is beginning to emerge.
In February, O2 took the plunge and let its staff in Slough work from home for a day.
Of 3,000 employees only 125 “mission critical” people stayed in the office, with the rest working from home.
Collectively the workers saved money — £9,000 according to the Telegraph — they saw more of their families and, more importantly: got more work done.
They got 1,000 hours more sleep, did 1,000 hours more work and probably ended the day 100 per cent happier for it.
Aside from proving that flexible working makes workers happier and more productive, another huge consideration here is the evidence that people can work remotely without compromising the security and functionality of their employer’s internal network.
If your operational integrity were at any risk of being compromised then this kind of approach would be a non-starter. Fair enough.
But the fact remains that because technology has advanced so much, and more often than not people have the means of connecting to your network from home, flexible working is not only better in theory — it’s better in practice too.
O2 business director Ben Dowd summed it up when he said: “The principles underlying flexible working really are the principles that will build the future of work, and determine the way that people, technology and buildings interact in the decades and centuries ahead.”
Too right. We’ve been waxing-lyrical about flexible working for some time now with BT having 69,000 people with the means to work flexibly, and other voices are beginning to join the chorus.
With a little sensible planning you can easily prepare your business for flexible working.
So when better to start than now?
If you’re in London then the 2012 Olympics are already on the horizon: an impending challenge that could cause disruption to your daily operations while The Games are on.
Nationally and internationally the threat of disruption caused by the weather, fuel strikes or volcanoes is ever present: so why let these scenarios present a threat to your business when their impact is entirely avoidable?
No tournament or traffic jam can keep you from your work if you’re well prepared for flexible working.
As we’ve been saying for ages: Flexible working is the future, and the future is now.
Raise your game in 2012, is your business ready for the olympics this summer? Click here to find out more.