HR · 25 May 2016

Micro firms flock to Smarter Working Initiative

Smarter Working Initiative
Many employees will be working flexibly on 25 July 2016 the first day of the UK school holidays
The owners of some of Britain’s smallest firms are among the fifty UK business leaders who have joined forces to promote the benefits of flexible working as part of the Smarter Working Initiative.

Employees at consultancy She’s Back, ecommerce brand Tied Together and marketing company Destination CMS are some of those who will be allowed to work flexibly on 25 July 2016 the first day of the UK school holidays.

Other micro business owners involved in the Smarter Working Initiative are leading the way on modern working by allowing employees permanent flexibility.

weve been a proponent of smarter working since we started trading 2005, Buzz Conferencing owner Pete Bennett told Business Advice.

the whole point of getting the company set up was to encourage people to travel less, something which has important environmental benefits. But it’s also about the working environment why sit on a hot car or on a crowded train when you could work from the comfort of your own home

Bennett, who employs seven full-time members of staff, highlighted the benefits to him as a company owner, too. We do have an office, but we don’t need lots of space in different locations as long as we have a place where people can come together for meetings sometimes.

The Smarter Working Initiative was launched by another conference call provider, Powwownow, in June 2016. It is clear that flexible working has a lot to offer to both employers and employees.Having the right work-life balance has become a crucial requirement of a happy workforce and the office-based 9-5 routine is old, outdated and unproductive, said the company’s managing director, Jason Downes.

if business owners want to attract and retain top talent, they need to understand that flexible working is a highly important element for doing so and that with the technology available, it is extremely easy to implement. The government has recognised this by changing the law it’s time for more business leaders to recognise its benefits too, he added.

The right to?request flexible working previously restricted to employees with dependents was extended to all workers in 2014. But statistics released by Timewise on 24 May showed that just 8.7 per cent of advertised vacancies paying over 20, 000 offer any sort of flexibility.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics as well as running a tutoring company.

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