Does Your Company Know About Flexible Working?


New research by Citrix, a software company often used for working from home, demonstrates that many firms are not aware of flexible working rights, and may be wary about the benefits of flexible working.

Working From Home

Almost half (46%) of the small to medium businesses in Britain surveyed had no flexible working policy in place, despite a change in the law allowing all employees to request such arrangements.

Concerned Employers - More Concerning Statistics

Citrix used YouGov, a market research firm to survey British small and medium sized businesses on both their opinions and understanding of flexible working. Only 55% of those surveyed were aware of the new laws that will be in place by the 30 June.

The survey definitely shows that many small to medium businesses are also sceptical about the benefits of flexible working, with only 5% believing the new laws will have a positive impact on their business.

Most firms seem to believe that flexible working will negatively affect the workplace culture, and that issues of trust between employer and employee will arise. We don't believe this is the case at all.

The government has introduced the new flexible working regulations on the basis that they will bring economic benefits of £475 million, through both increased efficiency in businesses and higher employee satisfaction.

What Flexible Working Genuinely Offers

Andrew Millard from Citrix pointed out that flexible working is not anywhere near as hard to achieve in the 21st century. He said, "Thanks to modern technology, putting efficient flexible working processes in place can be done both quickly and easily."

"Inflexible working practices can damage the employer-employee relationship, rather than the other way around", comments Simpson Millar LLP.

There are different ways in which an employee can work flexibly, such as working from home, flexitime, and job sharing. The regulations coming into force may create happier, more efficient employees. With the different varieties of flexible working available, it is possible for an employer to match their business needs to their own employees' needs, which are just as crucial for an effective workforce.

From 30 June all employees will have the right to request flexible working, and employers will have to be reasonable when considering a request.

There are more details available from ACAS for those who want to know more about the changes coming. If you're in any doubt, feel free to ask us a question using our online enquiry box, or call our legal helpline. 

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