Policies Without Practice

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Microsoft is back investing in Dynamic Work which seemed like a reasonable enough prod for me to dust of this blog with an updated post. Specifically, Microsoft Europe has sponsored a study of flexible working, “Attitudes Towards Flexible Working” with the research firm Vanson Bourne. Some of the findings, as reported in HR Magazine, include…

“The majority of business leaders across 15 Western European countries are 'very optimistic' about the business and employee benefits of flexible working practices, but have yet to implement a strategy for making new ways of working a reality, according to Microsoft and research firm, Vanson Bourne. Although businesses increasingly grant employees flexibility about when and where to work, the biggest barriers for employees include the right technology access and managerial guidance. Full flexible working is a reality for only a minority of knowledge workers in European businesses. The study among business leaders found the Western European countries in which businesses are most likely to allow their employees to work flexibly are Germany, the UK and Norway; the countries in which businesses are least open to flexible working are Belgium, Portugal and Italy….Most significantly, a majority of employees have not been made aware of the flexible working policies and guidelines in their organisation: 63% of business leaders (53% in the UK) say they provide their organisations with flexible working policies, but only a third of employees responded that their business has a policy in place (32% in the UK). Furthermore, a quarter of businesses (9% in the UK) measure the impact of flexible working (on employee satisfaction, productivity and customer satisfaction, for example).”