Companies urged to overcome barriers to flexible working

Companies urged to overcome barriers to flexible working

Many companies are still too afraid to adopt flexible working measures in spite of its many benefits.

Furthermore, a briefing from the Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm) shows that there are three main barriers to its implementation.

One is the fear that there will be a loss of contact should employees work remotely. However, this need not be the case in the digital age when there is a large amount of technology and software available allowing us to keep the lines of communication open.

Another reason why many companies are failing to embrace flexible working policies is largely due to management culture and style, Socitm's briefing shows. Perhaps some employers prefer to have staff members in the office where they can keep an eye on them.

A culture of presenteeism means that negative attitudes stem from the outdated view that workers can only be productive when in a physical work environment.

The third barrier to flexible working as outlined by Socitm is insecurity, with employee's wishing to have their contributions noticed and praised – something which some may feel is not possible when working out of the office.

Chris Head, author of the briefing, said: "Despite these barriers, organisations should push ahead with flexible working. Technology enables all of this – personal devices are smaller, lighter and more powerful. Mobile access is near-ubiquitous and security issues are largely solved apart from behavioural problems that lie outside the control of technology."

However, employers must be at the centre of adopting these policies and technologies in order to overcome barriers.

What is more, those who are concerned about staying in touch with staff not located within the office, do not need to be – by making a free teleconference call, it is easy for everyone from the organisation to take part in any important discussions or meetings.

Furthermore, companies will be able to reduce their carbon footprint by conducting more of their affairs over the phone. If firms are looking to expand their international client base, the technology can also be very useful.