Microsoft UK: ‘Flexible working should not be a benefit but a requirement’

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Microsoft UK: 'Flexible working should not be a benefit but a requirement'

“Flexible working should not be a benefit but a requirement”, as it brings with it a good work-life balance.

This is the opinion of Howard Lewis, surface group lead at Microsoft UK. Mr Lewis explained how it is an effective tool in recruiting and retaining talent, with all demographics requiring flexible working. However, he did point out that younger generations have a higher expectation for both flexible and remote working.

Mr Lewis said:

UK organisations have a duty of care to their employees and small changes can make a big difference. It’s not just about introducing a flexible working policy and hoping for the best. Organisational leaders must be role models for their employees, equip them with the tools to make flexible working work and, most importantly of all, communicate the value that these kinds of policies can have for an organisation – both in terms of employee wellbeing and the bottom line.

He believes that companies that have strong flexible working have increased productivity, which is becoming increasingly important as the UK is experiencing a consecutive fall in its labour productivity.

Mr Lewis said:

Offices, tech and people have changed. What they need is more nomadic working. Flexible working styles are becoming more and more important.

He explained how advances in technology has assisted flexible working as it enables employees to take on this form of working. Still, he does caution how ethical rules are needed to guide employees so they know when they should stop working.

Mr Lewis attaches a great deal of importance to flexible working as he said:

It is one of the main parts of wellbeing.

Earlier this week (21st October) The Myers-Briggs Company through research pointed out that flexible and remote working can lead to ‘burnout’ and an ‘always-on’ culture. 

John Hackston, head of thought leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company said:

Remote working and modern technology is a great addition to the workplace as it gives employees the power to work how and where they like. However, if not kept in check, the tendency to be ‘always-on’ can have negative repercussions on both the efficiency of organisations and the wellbeing of employees.

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