Employers are failing to see the full benefits of flexible working practices.
This is according to a study carried out by O2 – which saw more than 400 employers and 2,000 employees questioned as part of the research – and it comes 12 months after the company completed its Olympics flexible working pilot.
Some 75 per cent of staff members said they are more productive if they are given the power to choose where and when they work, with 11 per cent saying flexible working is more important than salary.
Despite the obvious benefits associated with the option, companies are not doing enough to make their policies obvious to employees – indeed only 56 per cent have a clear plan in place.
If companies are going to let people to work from home, then they should make sure their staff know how to make a conference call. By using this technology, employees can take part in any important meetings.
On top of this, 0845 conference calls are perfect for firms looking to appeal to an international audience, as it is easy to stay in touch.
O2 business director Ben Dowd said: "Just six months since Britain's biggest flexible working opportunity, the Olympics, it's shocking that less than one fifth of people feel they are encouraged to work flexibly. Businesses must sit up and take notice of this critical evolution in employee behaviour and create a business culture equipped to support it."
He added if a truly flexible working culture is going to be created, then widespread action is required to bring this about.
In terms of encouraging more people to work from home when it suits them, Mr Dowd thinks it is important that managers lead from the front. The study found 70 per cent of managers try to set an example by changing their working hours or carrying out their duties remotely, but only 18 per cent of employees agree with this statement.