Recently the UK Government introduced new legislation which allows all employees the right to request flexible working providing for the same employer for at least 26 weeks. As part of the right, employees can expect their request to be considered “in a reasonable manner” by employers.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said 20 million people now have the right to ask to work flexibly. A recent survey by a large UK telecommunications company revealed that although more than half of workers were unaware of the new law, already 2 out of 5 employees spend four hours or more per week working away from the office. The new legislation will bring a further increase in the number of people working from home and on flexible hours.

The Federation of Small Businesses has expressed concerns that some small businesses feel that they will not be able to offer flexible working due to either cost or from a viewpoint of balancing their teams. This need not be the case.

Andrew Ingram CEO of the High Tide Consulting commented:

“It has been shown some of the benefits of flexible working are increased staff morale and productivity as well as it being a factor in improving staff retention rates. To ensure SMEs can offer flexible working with minimal disruption and cost to their businesses we believe that the use of hosted VoIP and other mobile business communications built on superfast broadband and 4G internet connectivity will not only benefit their employees but will futureproof their business communications”

It is becoming harder for businesses to ignore the case for investing in technologies such as hosted VoIP that allow employees greater flexibility. Hosted VoIP is quick and easy to set up, once configured handsets can be deployed and connected by simply plugging them into the homeworker’s broadband routers enabling them to answer phone calls whether they are in the office or at home.

Hosted VoIP also makes it possible for companies of all sizes to have the advanced telephony features normally only found on high-end phone systems, giving them the tools to compete more effectively with their larger competitors and giving clients a great first impression. In addition VoIP calls cost a fraction of a traditional phone call. Switching to VoIP can save 50% on telephony costs compared to standard BT tariffs and as hosted VoIP combines voice and data networks onto a single network it creates an easily manageable and even more cost efficient solution for business communications

The features and benefits offered are perfect for those companies looking to embrace the new flexible working legislation, and with research suggesting that more than half of workers would like to take advantage of flexible hours, there has never been a better time to invest in this technology.

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