Flex for all?

Alison Maitland's picture

The UK could enjoy a big advance in flexible workplaces if the government presses ahead with new proposals to extend the ‘right to request’ flexible working to all employees. This right is currently open only to certain parents and carers. Extending it to everyone would begin to make flexibility the norm, as it needs to be in today’s interconnected, fast-paced business world, rather than an accommodation of particular groups of employee.
The trouble with many current flex arrangements is that managers view them as a cost, a burden, and a drag on productivity. Not surprisingly, employees fear that requesting flexibility will be “career death”. This is the opposite of what new ways of working, adopted as a business strategy, are about. The pioneering companies we feature in the book have seen huge business benefits by measuring and rewarding people on performance and results, rather than hours worked and “face-time”. Once they embrace what we call “future work” as a business model, they stop complaining about “red tape” and start talking about their competitive advantage instead. You can see the government's consultation at: http://discuss.bis.gov.uk/modernworkplaces

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