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Flexible Working Expectations Rising, Shows Polycom Survey

November 29, 2012 | Telepresence Options


Kayleigh Bateman, Computer Weekly

The increase of technology adoption in the UK is heightening office workers' expectations of flexible working, according to a survey from Polycom.

Conducted by Redshift Research, the survey of 1,000 UK professionals found employees' views on how work should fit into their lifestyle is changing, due to the increase of technology that allows flexible working.

The results found that, over that last decade, the number of employees working from home has doubled, from 21% to 40%. The report attributes this to the growing number of employers offering flexible working arrangements.

For example, the number of employers offering flexible working arrangements to parents has jumped from 28% to 44%.

A quarter of UK office workers would still prefer their working hours to better fit around their lifestyle. The main reasons are to fit in with partners or children, or to avoid commuting to the office.

According to the survey, the trend is driven by the increase of communications technology used by businesses, allowing employees to communicate in a different way. The increased use of email and social media means face-to-face meetings and phones calls have declined. The use of laptops among office workers has almost tripled over the last ten years, reaching 46% in 2012.
Mobile phone usage has doubled and one in ten respondents now use a tablet at work. Video conferencing adoption has also seen an increase. Ten years ago, 26% of office workers used video conferencing. This figure now stands at 42%.

Gary Rider, president at Polycom EMEA, said: "Flexible working arrangements benefit everyone: employees who want a better work/life balance; businesses who would enjoy a more productive workforce; and the UK economy that needs to reduce the �8bn annual spend on congestion.

"With collaboration technologies empowering people to work from anywhere and on any device, nothing should stop employers from embracing the new ways of working."

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