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London firms lead the way for more flexible, smarter working

Two thirds of business leaders in the city give their staff the option of flexible working, according to new research

With the advancement of technology in todays world coupled with it literally being available at our fingertips, there is ‘little other than tradition in the way of offering all employees flexible working.’  London currently leads the way according to research by Powwownow, although it’s undoubtedly only a matter of time before the rest of the UK adopts the same approach.

The research, surveying 2,000 working professionals, revealed that business leaders in the capital allow their staff to spend the most time working out of the office during an average week – a total of 3 hours and 31 minutes, compared to the UK average of 2 hours and 34 minutes.

Young people, many of whom are graduates with sought-after skills such as digital and cybersecurity expertise, are the most likely to consider flexible working a main perk of a new job, with three quarters (76%) agreeing. However, they are the least likely to be offered it by businesses.

Over half of young people (53%) are not proactively offered flexible working, compared to just a third (33%) of 35-44 year olds who also have to ask for it.

Nearly two thirds of employees surveyed think that being offered flexible working would enable them to work smarter and be more productive, while over half of all people surveyed (53%) think flexible working would help positively impact their relationship with colleagues.

As far as commuting and travel time goes, Londoners have the longest commute with an average of 1 hour 16 minutes per journey. The quickest commutes in the UK are enjoyed by the Welsh, who take an average of 57 minutes to commute back and forth to work.

MD of conference call company Powwownow, Jason Downes, said, “Companies in the UK are beginning to wake up to the fact that the brightest British talent expects different things from their employers compared to 10 years ago – namely flexible working and being graded on output not time spent in the office.”

“With technology so readily available, there is little other than tradition in the way of offering all employees flexible working. Although London is currently reacting to this change at the fastest pace, it will no doubt only be a matter of time before the rest of the UK comes to embrace this same approach to smarter working.”

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