05 Dec Bosses See Flexible Working as a Viable Option to Counter Absenteeism
Despite all the hullaballoo about flexible working following the work from home ban by the CEO of Yahoo earlier this year, Britain’s employers seem to be doing an about turn in their policies by making available flexible working arrangements for their staff.
A recent study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has revealed that 20% more employers adapted to newer working patterns in the last year as compared with previous years. 85% of companies that had participated in the survey admitted to having begun to introduce flexible working policies for their workforce as against 65% last year.
Growing concern about rising absenteeism
What is surprising here is the reason behind this new trend. More than employee welfare, its growing concern about the rising absenteeism among the staff that is prompting bosses to adapt to a less rigid work culture. The latest Absence Management Report by CIPD states that the average employee would have taken an estimated 7.6 days off, in excess of their stipulated holiday entitlements, by the end of 2013. Considering that the average cost of employee absenteeism is estimated to be approximately £595/employee/year, it is easy to see why bosses are keen to redress the situation even if it means changing their stance on a topic that was in the centre of a raging debate only a few months ago.
Why flexible working opportunities make for a win-win situation
While nothing rings as true as the fact that we do need to adapt our attitudes to the ever evolving times, it should be aimed at guaranteeing a better work-life balance and a happier, less stressful work conditions for the workforce. Flexible working opportunities need to be extended to every member of the staff out of concern for employee welfare and not stem from an alarm over rising costs of absenteeism to companies.
Providing a less regimented work environment that allows employees greater freedom and control over their time would not only enhance productivity but also reduce absenteeism, turning into a win-win situation for everyone –employers and employees alike.