Flexible working hidden disadvantages revealed by research

Flexible workers are not able to make more use of their leisure time or have quality time with their families, research has revealed.

A survey of more than 1,400 workers for Orange Business Services (OBS), Beyond Boundaries, found that 40% of people working flexibly do not have more time to themselves as result of their job pattern.

Instead, 45% indicated that flexible means working more during your free time, evenings and weekends, suggesting that people are working longer hours for less money.

Robert Ainger, director of communications for OBS said: “There are gaps between perception and reality.

“A key challenge is how notions of effectiveness are being redefined. Being the first or the last in the office can no longer be a measure of an employee’s commitment and productivity and managing a flexible workforce will mean worrying less about how employees work and more about what they produce.”

Earlier this year Orange warned companies that did not have a formal policy for flexible working that they may be “sleepwalking” towards major problems.

The survey also found that:

  • 50% of UK employees state that being able to work more flexibly will be an important factor in choosing their next job
  • Employees fear that absence from the office may result in them being kept out of the loop
  • Effective management of flexible working will help organisations be more competitive, successful and retain the best talent.

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