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Flexible working is a boon for senior managers, says Industrial Society


The Industrial Society reports that employees who benefit from flexible working practices show significantly better performance than those working a traditional 9-to-5 schedule.

The study, commissioned by the Society and flexible work company The Resource Connection, finds in particular that senior managers, who have traditionally been prevented from switching to flexi-time, reduced hours working or working from home, show significantly improved performance at work when changing their work patterns in one of these ways. By allowing senior managers to choose their working hours and place of work, the study says that managers significantly out-perform those working standard hours and are rated more highly by their own managers in the areas of problem-solving and analysis, resilience, leadership and commitment. Job-sharers also scored highly on problem-solving, teamwork and flexibility.

The study also looks at the personality traits of flexible workers and the attitudes of their managers to try and establish the factors which make flexible working successful.

Carol Savage, Managing Director, The Resource Connection, comments: 'This is the first time that the efficacy of flexible work and its contribution to the bottom line has been proved through research, and that the specific characteristics that determine individual flexible workers versus jobsharers can be identified. Moreover, we are able to help people determine the most suitable jobsharer partner for them, as well as showing people what to look out for when embarking on a jobsharer relationship. The Resource Connection will be using these findings to help both employers and employees implement effective flexible work opportunities.'

Dr John Knell, Deputy Director of Futures, The Industrial Society, says: 'There have been two significant barriers to flexible working among senior managers. Firstly, employers find it very hard to believe that flexible working amongst their senior executives can work. Secondly, senior managers often regard making such a request as 'career death'. This research knocks both these misconceptions on the head. 'To show that work life balance and high performance can go hand in hand will be a significant contribution to the work life debate, but the research also has significant implications for working in a globalised 24-hour society.'


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