New Flexible Working Regulations indicate it’s time for businesses to embrace workforce mobility

    This week new flexible working regulations come into force in the UK, indicating the increasing need for businesses to acknowledge, and cater for, the growing the demand from employees for more flexible working arrangements.

    From the 30th June 2014, the right to request flexible working has been extended beyond those who look after children and certain carers, to include any employee that has reached 26 weeks’ service.

    This includes a wide range of working patterns, such as working from home, job sharing, part time working, compressed hours and flexitime.

    While employers are under no obligation to agree to requests (although they must provide a valid business reason for declining) the change in legislation will likely cause many employees to consider their current working arrangements. 

    Already, home working is at an all time high, with The Guardian highlighting that the number of people working from home reached 4.2m in 2014 - approximately 14 per cent of the workforce. Mitel-commissioned research among 1,000 UK workers in 2012 indicated this growing appeal for new working practices, with over half (54%) saying they want to choose their own hours and two in five looking to break free of the nine to five culture to work how and where they want to. 

    It’s likely the move towards more flexible and mobile workforces is only going to increase and the new legislation marks a juncture for businesses to consider how they can better accommodate this growing demand.

    Technological advances mean that flexible working in all its forms is a viable option for businesses of all sizes. Mitel’s unified communications solutions are already being used by businesses across the UK to enable communication and collaboration from anywhere and they are delivering many benefits, including increased staff loyalty, productivity and motivation, alongside the streamlining of costs and IT management.

    Find out more about flexible working and how the latest applications are driving mobility in the workforce here:

    Improving customer service

    Increasing reachability among the work force

    Increasing employee productivity

    Ensuring business continuity with mobility applications