It seems you can’t teach young dogs new tricks, as new research shows younger managers are the most suspicious of flexible working practices.
Despite supposedly growing up and starting work in the most technologically advanced environment, managers aged 18-29 are the most suspicious management age group when it comes to flexible working (38%).
The survey of 3,000 staff for telecoms giant BT found this compared to one in three (30%) 30 to 50-year-olds and one in four over 50s.
Men were the found to be much less trusting than women, with the research showing they were 50% more likely than women to be suspicious of colleagues who work flexibly.
Trust was seen by staff as the single most important skill for any employer to exhibit while managing a remote workforce.
More than one-third (38%) of employees said it was the most important skill. This makes it almost twice as important as the ability to communicate effectively (21%), and more important than good organisation (14%) and the ability to motivate (12%).
Caroline Waters, director of people and policy at BT, said the results pointed to ideal manager of the future being over 50 and female.
“When it comes to making a success of flexible working, this survey throws the spotlight firmly on the importance of softer people management skills,” she said. “The emphasis put on trust and strength of relationship between employers and employees points to the fact that women, and in particular women over 50, are the ideal management role model in this increasingly flexible business world.”