It is a matter of weeks away until the Olympics takes place. Many businesses will have been preparing for this memorable event and planning as to how this could impact their business. Many businesses however may not be even this prepared.
The subject of “flexible working” has been suggested as a solution for employees wishing to attend major events when this Olympics starts in July. Some companies, already organised and familiar with this work pattern are going to follow this policy to help them successfully operate during the games. It does appear that a considerable amount of companies have refused flexible working to accommodate staff when the major events take place.
Isn’t this a missed opportunity for companies to road test this method of working during a sporadic business period? They could be using flexible working as an opportunity for the future. Some companies will see this time during the Olympics as committed focus for continued growth and productivity especially whilst the economy is struggling. Admirable yes, but also could be a missed opportunity at the same time.
Of course as the country continues to find ways to improve the economy this is a priority, but apart from financial stability, there are other advantages to a flexible working pattern.
Some benefits to be considered are home working and staggered hours during congested times. This can reduce stress and offer a better work-life balance. By motivating staff productivity this will increase along with morale and absenteeism reduces. Some key benefits when employees are hoping to be involved with the events.
If communicated clearly and effectively to a workforce, the trialling of flexible working could be measured and evaluated to identify successes and problem areas for a permanent plan. During this period, businesses can focus on absence, morale, productivity and management effectiveness. Some crucial ingredients to help formulate preferred working arrangements for the future.
Businesses who are working towards a more flexible workforce with “ad-hoc” home working are building a more positive workforce.
A study carried out by AWA – Advances Workplace Associates discovered that allowing staff to work from home reduces sickness and absenteeism. Surprisingly it is also found to improve morale and productivity.
This is positive news as it demonstrates that forward thinking companies in these economic times are embracing flexible working and moving with the times.
There are a number of businesses who are promoting their flexible work policies and are leading the way. Some of these include; Unilever, Aviva, GlaxosmithKline and Nationwide.
Even though this promotes positive attitude and productivity it is equally important that clear policies and guidelines are given to ensure successful usage of home working to ensure it is not abused.