With 65% of employers suggesting that the private sector will work more flexibly in five years’ time, one in five employees are too afraid to ask for flexible working time because they fear it will be denied. The news comes from Aviva’s Working Lives report, and Unique IQ, the company behind IQ:timecard, says it highlights a need for more managerial trust and better workplace management.
“The nine-to-five culture is dying,” says David Lynes, Director of UniqueIQ, the parent company of IQ:timecard. “Managers expect their workers to be able to attend to weekend emails or work emails first thing, but in return workers don’t feel they can ask for more flexible hours. Consequently, people are working longer for the same rate of pay as they word normally get, missing out on things like doctor’s appointments or school pick-ups, because they think their manager will deny their request.”
Since working too many hours without getting anything back from employers is a recipe for good workers burning out, managers need to be the ones to initiate change. They need to ask why they work in a culture which does not feel open to their employees, and also if they are likely to deny flexible working requests. Software like IQ:timecard heralds a new approach to remote workforce management. If managers are scared that work will not get done if they grant flexible working requests, they should trial software that tracks worker’s output, gives realtime alerts and helps tech adoption in the workplace.
If management are open about adopting a system that facilitates flexible working, workers will feel safer requesting it without fear of it being denied, helping to create a more transparent workplace culture.