Lukewarm to flexiworking

Lukewarm to flexiworking

The majority of New Zealand managers do not trust their employees to work away from the office.

There is also a lot of mistrust and rivalry between co-workers regarding flexible working, and those who work away from the office are subject to criticism and corridor gossip from colleagues, says a new report. According to the report Mobility and Mistrust commissioned by Toshiba and conducted by Sweeney Research, only 35 per cent of New Zealand organisations currently have flexible workplaces. Yet, 39 per cent of personnel in non-flexible workplaces have jobs that can be undertaken flexibly.

The majority of respondents feel flexible working is an increasing trend (85 per cent overall). However the finding most managers would not let staff work flexibly even if the organisation allowed it, indicates there is still a need for education and training in how to manage flexible workers, and a need to communicate the benefits more effectively.

Monitoring and supervising

Flexible working refers to the ability of full-time staff to work from whatever place offers the greatest suitability and productivity for the employee and their employer/manager. Flexible workplaces include home offices, branch offices, airport lounges, internet cafes, hotel rooms, business centres and other external venues.

The report finds more than 50 per cent of respondents think managers are less trusting of flexible workers and nearly 75 per cent think employees disapprove of their colleagues who sometimes work away from the office.

Most managers (75 per cent) in firms without flexible workers, say they would be unlikely to let employees work flexibly, even though nearly half of employees would like to do so.

Sixty five per cent of managers and 59 per cent of employees cited monitoring and supervising as a common problem in implementing the new work schedule.

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