Majority of employers don’t equate long hours with productivity
19/12/2008
T-Mobile publishes report into changing face of UK’s working culture.

www.consultant-news.com  18.12.2008

T-Mobile has released research revealing that the majority of employers (59%) say they do not consider how late employees stay in the office as an indication of how hard they are working and nearly half (46%) of employers do not reward those who work late or out of hours. The research raises questions over the need for workers to stay late in an effort to impress the boss, and shows that UK bosses are increasingly aware of the possibility of employees working productively on their own terms, rather than spending excessive amounts of time in the office.

To accompany this research, T-Mobile has worked with Kingston Business School to produce a report examining changing work practices in the UK. The ‘Demise of the Desk Hugger’ report investigates evolving employer and employee attitudes to the UK’s long hours working culture and the impact that an increase in flexible working can have on the management and motivation of an organisation’s staff.

Professor Christine Edwards, Professor of Human Resource Management at Kingston University Business School and author of the ‘Demise of the Desk Hugger’ report, commented: “In light of recent legislation extending flexible working rights to more employees, now is the time for all employers to consider how they can get the best out of their mobile workers. During any economic climate, but particularly during a downturn, it is in the interest of businesses to ensure they are keeping their staff happy and productive. Employers need to ensure they offer the best mobile technology and support to make things as easy as possible for their mobile workforce.”

Ollie Chivers, Head of Business Marketing at T-Mobile UK, said: “It is encouraging to see that employers are increasingly aware that staff do not need to spend all night in the office to be productive and do their jobs effectively. In fact we’ve found that people think they are more productive when they work away from the office, and mobile working has a clear role to play in tackling the UK’s notorious long hours culture. These findings are good news for all those who already enjoy the flexibility of working outside of the office, and give food for thought to those employers considering how to increase productivity without damaging morale.”

The research also found that although employers are increasingly investing in mobile working tools to increase productivity and provide staff with the ability to work effectively out of the office, they are facing some HR challenges which they need to overcome. The ‘Demise of the Desk Hugger’ report gives practical guidance and tips to employers and HR managers on how to ensure workers are happy, motivated and productive when working out of the office.

The research, undertaken by Vanson Bourne on behalf of T-Mobile, surveyed over 500 businesses with fewer than 250 employees across the UK, uncovering some of the challenges they face in the slowing economy.