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Can your business cater to flexible working?on 9 July 2014Posted by Christine Morgan
Workers’ rights made the headlines recently, following the change in UK employment law that allows all employees – not just some – to request flexible working.
Why the big deal? Because up until now, only parents of children under the age of 16 and registered carers had the legal right to ask their employer for flexible working. In other words, if you’re a member of the great British workforce, you can now ask your employer to let you work in a way that suits your needs – such as having flexible start and finish times, working part time, job sharing or working from home.
This change affects up to 30 million or so British workers, the only condition being that you’ve worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks. It’s arguably one of the more popular changes of legislation introduced by government in recent years (according to a Jobsite survey, it’s not just mums with kids at school who like the idea of flexible work hours, but almost half of British men want flexible working too, as well as 75 percent of all 25-34-year-olds).
Indeed, whatever way you look at it, the days when everyone clocked in and out at the same time, day after day, are over; a practice well and truly consigned to history (and good riddance, many say). Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat business minister, described it as such when she summed up the need for workers to be in the office during fixed hours as a ‘1950s mindset’.
‘We live in a globalised society, we have technology which enables us to be doing work not just from physically being there at the workplace but actually doing so at different times of the day and from different places,’ she told the Independent on Sunday.
‘And rather than it staying stuck in a 1950s mindset that being at work is about physically being somewhere and it’s about long hours and that ‘presenteeism’ culture, actually it’s about achieving what you’re supposed to do in your job and doing that in the most effective way.’
Ms Swinson is absolutely right. After all, remote working has become the norm for an increasing number of employees. Just last month, the Office for National Statistics announced that the number of home workers in the UK is higher than it’s ever been, at least since records began, at an astonishing 13.9 percent of the workforce.
But it’s not just the UK. Remote working is a global phenomenon, with one recent survey suggesting that a fifth of the 4.6 billion workers around the world telecommutes, while 29 percent split time between working at home and at the office. And let’s face it, these days, your co-workers are just as likely to be in another country as across the room or on another floor.
For a growing number of businesses this working practice doesn’t just work, it’s highly effective in terms of productivity and worker satisfaction. And it’s no secret that many of these businesses have embraced communication and collaboration technology.
Glasscubes online collaboration tools are cloud based, so it’s really easy for people to work together – whether they’re at the office, at home or on the other side of the world.
It’s competitively priced (if your account has five or fewer users, you can use the full set of tools for free) and incredibly simple to use, which is good news for organisations with little to no technical expertise. And because Glasscubes is 100 percent web-based, you don’t need to shell out for any extra IT equipment or staff. In fact, it could be just what your business needs to manage flexible working successfully.
But don’t just take our word for it. Give it a try.
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