GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Understand your workforce to maximise flexible working

Customer RepresentativeNew research shows a generational divide amongst the views on flexible working. Whilst younger employees tend to support remote working options, those over the age of 55 have reservations about this system. It is essential for call centres that want to maximise their workforce to understand which employees they should target when marketing flexible arrangements.

The survey commissioned by Direct365 found that employees between the ages of 18 and 34 are most likely to support flexible working options, welcoming the prospect of working remotely. The older generation might be less receptive to such arrangements. Overall, 31 per cent of the British workers asked said they worried about how flexible working would affect office culture in the future.

As of June 2014, any staff member employed for 26 weeks or more can legally ask for flexible working arrangements. The rules were introduced in a bid to increase the UK’s work-life balance. Despite this goal, the opposite effect appears to be occurring, with professionals having difficulty switching off from their jobs.

In fact, Professor Gail Kinman, an occupational health psychologist, told The Guardian last month that many people are not getting enough quality sleep and are unable to stop taking calls or checking emails outside of work hours.

Direct365 Brand Development Manager Emma Gilroy said: “Although companies are legally obliged to consider flexible working requests from staff, they shouldn’t lose sight of how these arrangements will impact the wider team. It’s arguably far harder to build a bond and strong team ethos if everybody is working in different locations. We’re in danger of losing good old-fashioned ‘watercooler talk’!”

For telephone answering services, a careful balance needs to be found in flexible working, particularly when taking into account generational differences.

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