Since the end of June 2014, all people employed by a UK company for at least 26 weeks have had the right to request flexible working arrangements. The legislation was hailed as a major breakthrough for both workers and employers when it was introduced, so why does new research suggest flexible working is still yet to take off?
A survey conducted for last month's UC Expo 2015 in London (read more about our experiences at the event here) found that two-thirds of businesses are not providing flexible working to the satisfaction of their employees. The research, which canvassed the opinion of 1,000 UK workers, discovered that 80% of employees believe flexible working should be an option for everyone.
The strange thing is, senior business leaders seem to share the ordinary worker's enthusiasm for flexibility - so a lack of support at the top can't be blamed for holding the rollout of flexible working back. The survey found that 64% of C-level executives believe flexible working will boost the productivity of their workforce (and this is definitely a hot topic at the moment), while 80% think that offering flexible terms can attract higher quality job candidates.
In fact, the survey indicated that any lingering resistance to flexible working is not a question of attitude or ideology - it's a practical issue. Organisations are worried about the security implications of flexible working: 72% of employers surveyed said the security of employees using their own devices for work is their biggest issue with flexible working. In addition, 45% claimed the cost and complexity of implementing the technology to enable flexible working is too high.
When organisations talk about the technologies they need to implement flexible working, a secure file sharing tool is usually high on the list. It's easy to see why - they're understandably anxious about sensitive documents being passed around outside the internal firewall. Many companies have also suffered from the widespread unauthorised use of consumer-grade file sharing applications, which can leave businesses vulnerable to data loss and leakage.
Secure file sharing for business
Secure file sharing software is therefore essential for the successful implementation of flexible working in an organisation - it's the function that keeps confidential information safe, while easing the concerns of senior executives to ensure that flexible working terms can be fully rolled out to all employees.
The good news is that implementing technology to support flexible working across the organisation does not have to be prohibitively expensive - not when secure file sharing is available as part of a cloud collaboration tool like Kahootz.
Our collaboration software is designed to provide secure file sharing for business and public sector organisations. The tool is trusted for sharing sensitive documents by government departments and major enterprises, with watertight security credentials including ISO 27001 certification. Plus, our flexible cloud pricing model makes it cost-effective to implement Kahootz for a single team or an entire organisation.
If you're seeking the tools to make flexible working work for your business, why not see for yourself with a free 30-day trial.