Flexible Working to Become the Norm in the UK
August 6, 2019
There are plenty of people attracted to the idea of flexible working. Working different hours, or different days, even from different locations all without adversely affecting output allows people to organise and improve their personal lives significantly. Now, one MP, is on a mission to make that vision a reality for more people.
Flexible working coming?
Conservative MP Helen Whately has introduced a bill to parliament that has called for employers to change their standard job offering. In essence, her bill calls for all jobs to be offered with flexible working hours as standard. Employers would have to deliberately opt-out of the standard, if they believed that the job called for regulated or standard hours.
Helen Whately said:
“We know how powerful the psychology of the opt-out is, compared with that of the opt-in. Pensions auto-enrolment has successfully reversed the decline in the number of people saving into a workplace pension – 10 million more people are now saving for their old age thanks to the policy. Let us apply that same principle to flexible working and ask employers to opt out of flexibility.”
The right to request flexible working hours has been available since 2014, but only a relatively small number of people exercised the right to request the change and even fewer have been successful. Most jobs are not advertised as offering flexible hours, even when there is no reason why the role could not be compatible with such an approach.
For employees, flexible working hours sound great, but there something about the concept that must concern employers for so few of them to regard it as a first choice option.
Identity Management that maintains accountability
Our experience tells us that it is the accountability of flexible working that scares some employers. Quite understandably they want to know that their team members are providing value for money, and with flexible working systems, they might not feel fully on top of the hours worked or from what location. Often the system requires a lot of trust in employees and while the majority might deserve that trust, it only takes a few to abuse it in order for employers to lose faith in the overall system and its effectiveness.
Identity management systems that track the log-in or workers both in physical locations and also digitally can be the answer. If, for example, a fingerprint scan is what workers use to log-in at the office or onto their laptops, tablets or office smartphones, that accountability can be recorded regardless of location or time of day. Hours worked in the office, at home or in a café can all be tracked. BioStore can help to implement such solutions and give employers and employees the benefits of flexible working with full accountability.
Flexibility of working arrangements is something that will only increase in demand in the coming years – it was a key finding within our White Paper about the demands and expectations of the millennial workforce. Check out the full white paper here to understand more about the issues and the solutions.