Poll: culture biggest hurdle to flexible working

Two thirds of civil servants believe that culture is the biggest obstacle to introducing flexible working in the civil service, a CSW survey has found.

By Winnie.Agbonlahor

02 Aug 2013

The survey has been published as part of a report by CSW publisher Dods and questioned 2,127 officials, of whom 1077 work in central government and 1050 work in local government, health and higher education. When asked what is the "biggest obstacle to introducing new ways of working", 75% of respondents said culture - with 46% highlighting management culture and a further 26% choosing workforce culture.

Cultural barriers appears to have grown in importance since last year, when in a survey carried out by CSW in conjunction with Capita Symonds, 49% chose culture as the biggest obstacle to introducing new ways of working, with 19% saying the problem lies in the workforce and 30% in management.

The second greatest obstacle highlighted in this year's survey was information security risks, given by 43% of public servants, split into 48% of central government and 39% of non-central staff.

The survey also found that public servants actively want to work from home: when asked “would you like to be able to work from home?”, 87% said "yes", and 65% said they are "more effective when working from home or on the move".

A total of 74% agreed that their “working process is as at least as efficient when I work from home or remotely as when I work in the office”, while 93% said they “would find having remote access to the office from home useful or very useful in terms of making [them] and [their] team more efficient”.

Asked if they currently have the opportunity to work from home, 68% said yes, with 63 % of those working in central government compared to 73% in non-central government.

However, only 42% agreed with the statement: "When working from home or on the move I am able to perform all of the tasks that I am able to in the office."

Meanwhile, nearly a third of civil servants - 27% - think the legal implications of accessing data using their own device or a device outside the office are “prohibitive to enabling remote working”.


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