Small firms embrace flexible working

November 2004
Management Services;Nov2004, Vol. 48 Issue 11, p4
This article focuses on a report on British small businesses offering flexible working arrangements for employees, released by the Small Enterprise Research Team at the Open University, and sponsored by Lloyds TSB Business in 2004. The report shows that 85 percent of small firms believe there are valuable benefits to be gained by offering these work options. Of the flexible working options available to small business employees, part time working is the most common, offered by seven out of ten small companies. Staggered hours are available in 42 percent of the firms, while over a quarter of 28 percent offer flexible working locations. A further quarter, 26 percent, said that staff benefit from flexitime, with one in ten accepting term time only working. Job sharing schemes are available in seven percent of the businesses. The benefits small and medium enterprises believed they reap by providing flexible working arrangements are many and varied. Over half, or 56 percent, recognised that flexible working helps retain valuable employees, while 47 percent said it helps make staff feel valued and 45 percent cited the external reputational rewards for the business. The research revealed that small and medium enterprises, with more than 20 employees, are more likely to believe that flexible working benefits help boost a firm's reputation as a good employer.


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