Lack of monitoring know-how keeps flexible working on sidelines

More
than 90 per cent of HR directors think employees are more likely to skive off
if they work from home, according to new research.

The
survey of more than 300 companies on the benefits of flexible working
demonstrates HR directors’ apparent ambivalence towards flexible working.

When
asked about the benefits, HR directors cited greater productivity (47 per
cent), reduced stress (62 per cent), higher workforce motivation (60 per cent)
and happier workers (50 per cent).

However,
while recognising the benefits, it seems they are unwilling to put flexible
working into practice for fear that staff will prove untrustworthy and
unreliable.

Chris
Harris, managing director of business communications provider Inter-Tel, which
commissioned the research, said: "This schizophrenic attitude towards
flexible working seems to stem from the fact that HR directors are unaware of
how to track the way flexi-workers spend their time.

"When
asked how they would monitor the performance and productivity of flexi-workers,
18 per cent said they had no idea,” he said.

The
survey also revealed that organisations think flexible working would require
too much business process re-engineering or a change in company culture. A
fifth of HR directors also believe managing remote employees would be too
difficult.

Harris
added: "In reality most companies already have the technology on site.
They just don’t have the know-how or time to exploit it."

By Mike Berry

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