SMEs 'have no technological excuse to oppose flexible working'

Published on: 16 June 2014
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be hit with a flood of requests for flexible working at the end of the month and there are increasing calls for the employers to grant wholesale changes.From 30th June, all employees who have been in their current job for more than six months will be able to request flexible working from their employers. Companies still retain the right to refuse the requests if they feel it would be detrimental to their business, but most people agree this should not be the case.The latest championing of flexible working comes from Ben Dowd, business director of mobile phone company O2, who said that companies need to recognise the benefits it will bring to all parties.Mr Dowd told the Telegraph: "We know from our own experience that people are much more productive when they can work without being tethered to a desk for nine hours a day and it makes for a better work-life balance too. Employees across the UK understand this, but there's still a hurdle to get companies onboard."In the past, flexible working has not been welcomed by most SMEs as they argue they do not have the resources to make it work for them in the same way that larger companies can. However, that is no longer the case according to Mr Dowd, who told smaller business owners to stop using lack of technology as an excuse.Numerous recent reports have highlighted the growth of VoIP-based unified communications and with the growing network of superfast broadband in the UK, it is highly likely people working from home can be constantly in touch with other staff members throughout the day.Mr Dowd said it was important that SMEs looked at productivity in terms of output and not simply the amount of time spent behind a desk.

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