A recent study from Cranfield School of Management and CBI Economics shows that UK companies are becoming more open to flexible work arrangements.
According to the research of 208 businesses, 45% said the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) — which allowed staff to work part-time and remain furloughed the rest of the time — helped managers adopt better design and management practices.
According to Clare Kelliher, professor of work and organization at Cranfield, the furlough scheme essentially forced many businesses into a flexible work experiment. Leaders had no choice but to adopt new management styles for part-time workers, unintentionally providing them with skills that can ensure sustainability in the flexible future of work.
In fact, 62% of line managers said they are “more willing” to consider requests to work part-time now, while 96% said they have become “more flexible” about where employees worked.
Even more, 60% of respondents said they expect remote working to become more prevalent throughout their business over the next two years.
“These findings show that changes in working practices, and attitudes towards them, are very much underway,” said Anna Leach, deputy chief economist at the CBI.
“It is particularly encouraging to see that this shift in attitudes is associated with positive financial situations for companies, with the majority of the organizational representatives surveyed reporting that the financial wellbeing of their organization was good or very good, and expected to remain positive over the next two years at least.”