15 May Ditch 9-5 To Retain And Attract Talent

Britain is slowly, but surely, gaining ground after the recession according to The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).

While the broadsheet press has been trumpeting the return of the British economy to its pre-recession peak, it has also been pondering the problem of what has been dubbed the ‘productivity lag.’

NIESR’s stats paint a rosy picture of the UK economy. Its estimate for GDP growth for 2014 has been revised up from 2.5 per cent to 2.9 per cent and it forecasts that unemployment will average about 6.5 per cent this year. Inflation is set to stay close to the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target.

But along with the good news comes an old problem. Unemployment is down but output per capita still remains low for the number of hours worked, leaving Britain lagging behind other advanced economies.

One commentator in the Telegraph offers a soapbox view on how to boost productivity – start measuring performance on outcomes achieved and value added, rather than hours worked.

Lindsay Pattison, chief executive of media buying agency Maxus UK argues that SMEs should ‘think differently’ and ditch traditional structures based on full-time work, which can often exclude talented and productive employees from the workplace. Pattison cites mothers trying to balance working with bringing up a family as one example of highly productive employees but who may be restricted by the hours they can work. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/festival-of-business/10806894/Soapbox-SMEs-should-do-a-lot-more-to-support-working-mothers-says-Lindsay-Pattison.html

“If I can get brilliant people two days a week or five mornings a week, I would much rather have them than mediocre people full time,” she says. “SMEs will get the best people by being flexible about it.”

She adds that with technology enabling employees to stay connected and work at any time or place, the challenge now for SMEs was to be more ‘open minded’ in their approach to recruitment and reward value brought to the business over time spent in the office.

MessageBase has been helping companies to ‘think differently’ for the past 20 years. With clients of all different sizes and different sectors we are adept at providing a range of flexible solutions which will help your business retain and attract talented employees. From telephone answering and message taking services and virtual PAs to hot desking and office space we can help SMEs take steps to implement flexible working within their organisation.

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