A quarter of businesses don’t trust staff with flexible working

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Over a quarter (28%) of businesses don’t trust their employees to work flexibly, according to new research from Samsung.

A survey by the electronics company reveals that despite over half (52%) believing that more flexibility could improve productivity, a lack of trust in staff to get things done away from the office is preventing flexible working procedures being put into place.

Graham Long, Vice President of the Enterprise Business Team at Samsung UK said:

“Flexible working has come a long way in the last few years, but ingrained cultural attitudes for ‘being seen in the office’ or worries over productivity are commonplace, as this study reveals.

“With the winter weather now upon us, it’s essential that UK businesses overcome the ‘trust gap’ to allow enterprises and employees to reap the benefits of a well-regulated flexible working model.”

The study of 2,000 office workers and 200 business owners also showed that nearly a third (31%) of business owners surveyed do not think they are responsible for equipping employees with the tools and processes for flexible working.

New legislation this year introduced the right for all UK employees to be able to request flexible working. Samsung’s research demonstrates that this is a priority for workers, with 27 percent saying that they would choose more flexibility over a pay rise despite the expense of the festive season.

The study also suggested that many employers agree that flexible working is necessary, but are unable to implement it due to lack of policy and funding. More than a third (35%) find that unclear staff policies remain a barrier, while a further third (30%) said a lack of investment in the appropriate technology prevents them from offering flexible working to their staff.

Graham Long said:

“There is clearly a huge appetite for flexible working, and during winter, it makes business sense for employees to be not only equipped with the tools to work wherever they may be, but also feel that their employers trust them to do so.”

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