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The business benefits of flexible working

Peter Thomson (Director, Future Work Forum, Henley Management College, Henley‐on‐Thames, UK.)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 22 February 2008




Flexible working is a key contributor to business success but is often categorised by the human resource (HR) function as a “family friendly” benefit. If it is introduced strategically it can make a major contribution to the bottom line and to the credibility of HR. this paper aims to look at flexible working and its business benefits.


This paper provides an overview of flexible working and its benefits, with the latter demonstrated through business and individual case studies, and puts forward a model for strategic implementation.


The East Riding of Yorkshire made substantial measurable improvements to the level of service through the introduction of flexible working and turned a department around from failure to award‐winning in a period of two years. Individuals at Vodafone are successfully finding a work/life balance using flexible working options.


A well‐managed project plan is required to ensure successful execution of a pilot and the implementation of new working practices across the organisation. The model for strategic implementation in this paper provides a best practice tool.



Thomson, P. (2008), "The business benefits of flexible working", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 17-22.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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