Flexible working thwarted by IT


Efforts by HR departments to promote flexible working are being hindered by unco-operative IT departments, a new report claims.


Nextra, the UK arm of Norwegian telecoms company Telenor, surveyed 1,000 HR directors and found most were battling with IT departments over the amount of support flexible workers needed.


Only 4 per cent of those surveyed believe their IT department actively promotes flexible working, although 42 per cent say their HR department does. The HR professionals claim IT see supporting flexible workers as an additional drain on valuable time and resources.


Of those polled, 57 per cent have flexible working guidelines in place, while a quarter say the board actively promotes the working practice.


Barry Hartop, chief executive of Nextra UK, said: “IT departments are already using their resources to the maximum supporting workers physically within the organisation. Supporting remote workers brings a whole new set of headaches, especially in terms of providing the sort of 24/7 helpdesk support and hardwear maintenance that flexible workers require.”


He said IT departments may need to be outsourced or have staff levels boosted to cope with the demands of changing working practices.


“Issuing guidelines and voicing support is only part of the battle,” Hartop said.

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