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Goodbye Presenteeism: Why flexible working is the future for all of us

19 June 2019

That symbol of presenteeism – the jacket on the back of the chair – is fast becoming outmoded.

The case for flexible working across both public and private sectors has been argued for many years now.

Research both in the UK and in the US has highlighted the benefits to institutions and organisations of employees having more control over where, when and how long they work – whether it's family-friendly hours to enable parents to spend more time with children or allowing otherwise office-bound workers to cut their commutes by working from home for part of the week.

The latest research to point this out for teachers and others in education is the thinktank NFER (National Foundation for Educational Research) whose new research pinpointed an "unmet demand" from secondary teachers wanting to reduce or alter their hours. It found that as many as 1 in 12 teachers would like to cut their working hours more than a day a week.

The rapid pace of technology has only accelerated the drive to flexibility. At BlueSky, we know that web-based technology which offers staff the option of logging on any time anywhere is one of the aspects of our system most valued by leaders schools.

But it's not just about being able to make the staff and their organisation efficient: it's about giving staff a sense of autonomy. When staff believe they have greater control over their working life and pattern, they are naturally more engaged and committed.

In that sense, for the goal of increasing staff commitment AND improving a school or other organisation's overall performance, flexible working is a strategy that all leaders must surely consider.

Guest Author for BlueSky Education

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Guest Author for BlueSky Education

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