Flexible working could be the key to weathering winter storms

Embracing flexible working could help employers avoid the kind of disruption caused by last week’s freezing weather and winter viruses, according to an expert.

More than two million workers reportedly stayed at home on Monday 5 January to get over colds and viruses and to avoid sub-zero temperatures.

But Stephen Beynon, managing director of communications firm NTL Telewest Business, said organisations with a flexible working policy in place would have suffered less than others.

He said: “In cases where employees were unable to travel to work yesterday, businesses could have saved on lost revenue by preparing and offering flexible working.

“Our research shows that 48% of UK workers believe that without the stress and exertion of commuting they would feel healthier, and that they could still work productively from home if they had the technology to enable this.”

From April, the right to request flexible working will be extended to parents with children up to the age of 16, as well as to registered carers.

Beynon added: “Flexible working no longer conjures up images of employees sitting around the house in pyjamas, and savvy businesses are realising that it is a model that offers them a competitive advantage in a tough economic climate.”

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