Employers wary of staff mobility

Mobile
working is an important tool in attracting and retaining staff, but senior
managers’ distrust of employees is limiting its application.

According
to a new survey of 100 UK organisations by Fujitsu Services, mobile working has
a significant impact on the attractiveness of a company, but few companies
choose to implement it.

The
research found that only 27 per cent had high expectations of attracting
personnel through mobile working, but after implementation, this rose to 67 per
cent.

Nigel
Brocklehurst, UK HR director of Vodafone said offering the option of mobile
working made a big impact on a company’s ‘brand’, and could aid the recruitment
process and increase the morale of existing staff.

However,
Frances Wilson, international manager at the Chartered Institute of Personnel
and Development, said that while mobile working was seen as an essential tool
at executive level, distrust of those below the board limited its use.

“What
directors can see, they can control,” she said. “For mobile working to work, it
is important that there are good relationships between managers and employees
and that good performance management systems are in place.”

Eric
Smart, chief executive of Smart Human Logistics said that mobile working was
more difficult when a role meant directors couldn’t immediately measure the
output of an employee working outside the office.

“Mobile
working requires a leap of faith from directors, but it is a bridge they will
have to cross eventually,” he said. “At the end of the day, it is the managers
who carry the can if there is under-performance.”

By Michael Millar

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