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Institute of Leadership & Management publishes new research into flexible working

In the midst of a lively debate about the pros and cons of working flexibly – sparked by Yahoo! chief executive Marissa Mayers decision to ban working from home – a well-timed new research report, published on 4 March, by the Institute of Leadership & Management found that 94% of UK organisations now offer flexible working.Offering an evidence-based counter-argument to the reasoning behind the Yahoo! decision, ILM’s report, Flexible working: Goodbye nine to five, showed that eight in 10 managers saw the business benefits of working flexibly – including increased loyalty to the organisation, improved staff retention and greater ability to respond to the 24/7 demands of customers and clients.The survey of over 1,000 managers also found that men are just as likely as women to be working flexibly, a finding that was explored in greater depth by The Sunday Times in a case-study led feature about the rise of the male flexible worker.Charles Elvin, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management said: “Work used to be the place you turned up to – now, it’s increasingly something you can do anywhere, at any time. This is because more and more employers are recognising that a flexible approach to how, where and when their employees work offers real business benefits, including increased staff engagement, reduced overheads and the ability to meet their customer needs more fully.”Despite its prevalence, ILM’s report uncovered some negative attitudes towards flexible working and the organisation took a strong campaigning stance to urge companies to break down these cultural barriers and embrace flexible working fully. Coverage was achieved in the Financial Times, London Evening Standard, HR magazine, with CEO Charles Elvin and research head David Pardey discussing the research findings on BBC Radio 2 and LBC 97.3 respectively.We also placed a feature in HR Director and a case study led piece, featuring a selection of high profile CEOs speaking about their experiences of working flexibly, is due to appear in the Financial Times’s Executive Appointments pages in April.

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