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Top business leaders rally behind flexible working

A new group has been set up by 22 of Britain's top business leaders to promote flexible working rights in order to boost the UK economy. The Agile Future Forum (AFF) said it shared 'a common view that workforce agility is generating significant and tangible financial benefits for our businesses'.

Countering a misconception that flexible working practices can be 'a benefit for employees and a cost for employers', they claimed that 'workforce agility can offer sustainable business performance and engaged employees'.

Citing evidence that less structured working patterns can both save costs and enhance revenues, the AFF said it was 'enjoying benefits equivalent to 3 per cent to 13 per cent of workforce costs, with potential to increase that by a further 3 per cent to 7 per cent, and, in some instance, sales uplift to 11 per cent'.

One signatory, law firm Eversheds, said more than a quarter of its staff reported improved productivity when staff were given greater freedom over traditional working models. Another, accountancy firm KPMG, said it had made savings of £4.7 million during the downturn by offering staff flexible working options rather than making redundancies.

Acas offers extensive advice on flexible working in its Advisory booklet - Flexible working and work-life balance , and runs practical training courses on Flexible working, including everything you need to know about making working practices more flexible.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions page for more information.

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