Next year will see the tipping point for flexible working in the UK, according to new research.
Lancaster University’s Work Foundation indicates that over half of UK businesses are likely to adopt flexible working practices by 2017.
The paper, ‘Working Anywhere: A Winning Formula for Good Work?’ aimed to estimate when flexible working will become the norm for office employees. The paper identifies 2017 as the tipping point for this, and predicts that over 70% of organisations will be reliant on mobile working by 2020.
Over 500 managerial level employees from medium to large businesses were surveyed by the foundation.
The research further highlighted the benefits of flexible working. 44% of respondents believe that flexible working allows them to get more work done, while 42% reported that it made them feel more trusted. 35% said that it was essential for their work life balance.
Dr Cathy Garner, director of the Work Foundation, said: “The evidence is showing a clear trend towards a more flexible way of working in the UK as the hurdles are overcome by fresh innovations in technology and people management.”
Despite this the report highlights that we are still some way from fundamentally changing our working practices. 37% of managers stated that mobile working would lead to longer hours and a disconnect from their team. 28% believed that it would stop them from seeing their colleague’s work, whilst 24% stated that their work is performed on-site. This indicates that flexible working may not be practical for all office environments.
Respondents also raised concerns about their HR operations. 84% said that they would need to change their performance management processes, whilst 82% would need to alter their terms and conditions.