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Flexible working boosts productivity

A new survey has found that 87 per cent of executives agree that increased staff efficiency and productivity is the key benefit of flexible working initiatives such as flexitime and allowing staff to work from home.

The majority of those surveyed by the Executive Offices Group, said that allowing staff to work more flexibly improved profits and service levels. Many of the respondents also said that practices such as letting staff work at home reduced overheads, commute times and expenses. Businesses surveyed for the report included entrepreneurs and SMEs from sectors such as financial services, recruitment, property and media.

John Drover, CEO of the Executive Offices Group, said, “With the recent Budget focusing on entrepreneurship as a key means of stimulating and enabling long-term economic growth, simple measures like flexible working that are already contributing to small business profitability are to be both welcomed and actively encouraged.”

However, he noted that smaller businesses tended to be more aware of and open to the benefits of flexible working than bigger firms. He said that bigger businesses are often more concerned that flexible working will reduce productivity or compromise service levels and less trusting that both employees and technology will work as effectively on a remote basis.

Drover added, “The business case is persuasive and where innovative practices work best, they combine meeting the needs of the organisation, its customers and the individual.”

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