Requests to work remotely increase as stigma around flexible working diminishes 0

A majority of workers (65 percent) now feel comfortable requesting to work from home, while a third (33 percent) of UK employees would decline a job offer if they weren’t able to work flexibly. This is according to a new study from Maintel which claims that today’s multi-generational workforce prefers flexible working to traditional office hours and location; with flexible work policies perceived as an important workplace benefit. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of respondents say the company they work for has good flexible work policies in place, 64 percent of remote workers don’t feel micromanaged, and 58 percent would take the opportunity to spend even less time in an office, if it were available. Well over half (60 percent) of respondents believe technology can replace in-person interaction in the workplace. Yet there remain challenges with flexible work, including indifference regarding the security of company data (66 percent) and distractions at home (31 percent).

“Employee expectations for when, where, and how they work continue to evolve. This means businesses’ management, policies, and IT systems must do the same,” said Rufus Grig, CTO at Maintel.

“The real trailblazers put their employees’ working styles first, and use technology to back that up. For some companies this still requires a culture shift, judging employees on outcomes rather than attendance.”

Key Research Findings from the study of 1,000 employed adults in the UK, ages 18 and over include:

  • Almost three quarters of respondents to the survey (73 percent) think that their company has a good flexible work policy in place
  • Two thirds (66 percent) would feel comfortable asking their manager if they could work more flexibly
  • Those between the ages of 25 – 44 and working outside of London were mostly likely to feel comfortable asking their manager for flexible work options
  • Almost six in ten (58 percent) said that they would take advantage of the opportunity to spend less time in an office environment
  • The 55+ age group were more likely to take advantage of working away from the office than those between the ages of 18 – 24
  • Those living outside of London were more likely to take advantage of not working in an office environment

Findings on the implications of flexible work:

  • 60 percent of respondents believe technology can replace in-person interaction in the workplace
  • Two thirds (66 percent) of those polled say that they do not worry about the safety of company data when working remotely
  • Distractions were the greatest challenges when working from home (31 percent), followed by fixing IT problems (30 percent), getting hold of colleagues (28 percent), and feeling isolated (25 percent)
  • The greatest distractions when working from home were television (30 percent), household appliances e.g. dishwasher, washing machine (24 percent), and household chores (20 percent)

Said Grig:“Equipping employees with the right solutions to successfully work remotely and keep company data safe is critical. This enables effective employee performance, recruitment and retention, delivering a good ROI in technology investments.”