Flexible working: state of the nation report
Cloud applications and rising commuting costs are driving up demand for remote working, but businesses remain unaware of liabilities and risks
Commuting is taking longer, and it is also taking a larger bite than ever out of employee take-home salary. One way for businesses to reduce the cost of a lengthy commute, which exhausts employees and deters prospective talent from joining the organisation, is to introduce some degree of remote working.
As remote working becomes the norm, a growing number of remote working tools and applications are gaining currency on the market. In fact, thanks to tools such as Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat and Google Hangouts, workers can stay in touch with their colleagues, desktops and servers wherever they choose to work.
Respondents also reveal that while senior management are mostly comfortable with the notion of flexible working, they also point out that remote employee management requires specific training.
Professionals from all backgrounds also report that their sectors are increasingly using flexible working to attract and retain talented employees, but too few home offices are properly equipped as the financial onus of setting up this space is usually imposed on the worker.
Nor are businesses always recognising their duty to ensure employee health and safety, even when working remotely. Respondents say companies that encourage their employees to work from home are usually not aware that they must ensure health and safety standards are implemented. Rarely do employers take out the appropriate insurance cover on this home workspace.
All of these issues are overcome by providing workers with the option to work from fully equipped professional locations close to their home. Such flexible work facilities provide full technical capabilities, and ensure regulatory compliance. By using such facilities, businesses can deliver the flexible working promise but also avoid hefty sanctions.