Flex time and telecommuting: Are you on board?

Big events and crazy weather can make it hard for employees to get to an office, making flexible work times and locations all the more important. So say the experts on this month’s IBF forum.

Lots of places have a ton of stuff going on—planned and unplanned—and it’s a challenge for employers to figure out how to keep their employees productive when it’s basically impossible for them to come to work, Gerry Kells, program director for The Conference Board, told the hosts of IBF Live in this month’s broadcast.

For the Olympic Summer Games in London, more than half of employers in London are giving employees “flexible working schemes” in terms of hours and being able to work from home, said Paul Levy, head of interaction at the Intranet Benchmarking Forum, the organization that sponsors IBF Live.

“People fall back into a different mode of operating” during big events like the Olympics, Kells said, often because they’re not used to a flexible work environment. It can be tough to challenge traditional thinking about work, he pointed out.

“There are certain jobs where flexible arrangements are much easier to accommodate than others,” Kells added.

Challenges

Even so, Levy, acknowledging that the notion of effective flexible working environments had “split the audience,” wondered how flexibility could be so difficult for so many employers in 2012.

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