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'Trust gap' remains around flexible working

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More than one-quarter (28%) of employers still don’t trust their staff to work flexibly, according to research by Samsung UK.

The survey of 2,000 employees and 200 business owners suggests this mistrust exists despite 52% of senior leaders believing flexible working can improve productivity.

The desire to work flexibly is high, according to the poll. More than one-quarter (27%) claim they would choose the option to work flexibly over an increase in pay.

But worryingly, business owners often feel unwilling or unable to implement flexible practices in the workplace. Almost one-third (31%) do not see it as their responsibility to offer staff the tools to work flexibly.

Additionally, 35% cite unclear policies as a major barrier to offering flexible working programmes.

Samsung UK VP of enterprise business Graham Long warned that "ingrained cultural attitudes" around workers being seen in the office are still commonplace in the UK.

"There is clearly a huge appetite for flexible working and during winter it makes business sense for employees to be not only equipped with the tools to work wherever they may be, but also feel that their employers trust them to do so," he said.

"With the winter weather now upon us, it's essential that UK businesses overcome the ‘trust gap’ to allow enterprises and employees to reap the benefits of a well-regulated flexible working model."