Right to request flexible working; six months on only one in five have taken advantage of legislation

  • Half of UK workers (54%) are aware of the right to request legislation launched in June last year, but only a fifth (23%) have taken advantage of the option
  • Business culture and not having the necessary technology amongst the main barriers cited to working remotely
  • O2 Business is offering free, impartial tech advice via O2 Gurus to help both employers and employees work smarter

 Research released from O2 Business today shows that over half of UK workers (54%) are aware of the Government’s right to request flexible working legislation launched in June last year, though so far only a fifth (23%) have acted upon it.

UK employees cited the main barriers preventing widespread adoption as being a lack of trust (31%), general business culture that doesn’t encourage working away from the office (28%) and a lack of technology or tools to facilitate it (20%).

This doesn’t look set to change any time soon either, as just 12% of those surveyed thought their organisation was likely to embrace flexible working in the 2015.

Recognising the need to overcome these barriers, O2 Business is encouraging organisations across the country to work smarter so that they can embrace the productivity and efficiency gains that flexible working can bring. By making use of the latest digital technology such as cloud and collaboration based tools like Microsoft Office 365 or Box, both employees and employers can access key business systems no matter where they are.

Specially trained O2 Gurus are also on hand in O2 stores, online through web chat and over the phone to provide free and impartial tech advice to help businesses understand the technology behind working smarter and more flexibly.

Paul Lawton, General Manager of SMB for O2 Business commented:

 “It’s encouraging to see more people becoming aware of the right to request legislation since it came into force in June. However, our research shows that the pressure to be seen in the office and a lack of tools to enable remote working are still preventing the benefits that working flexibly brings, such as improved morale, high levels of employer loyalty and productivity gains.

At O2 we actively encourage our own employees, customers and other organisations to embrace flexible working, so they can be as productive and efficient as possible no matter where they are. There is now a great choice  of business technology and tools available to make this way of working commonplace in 2015 and beyond.”

For more information on how O2 is helping businesses to work smarter visit http://businessblog.o2.co.uk/