UK workers should be empowered to choose how, when and where they work

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London, Tuesday 13 November 2012: Lynn Rattigan, deputy chief operating office at EY, UK & Ireland, who works flexibly, comments on today’s announcement from Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister:

How, when and where we work

“To achieve a flexible working culture in business requires a high-trust workplace environment, leadership from the top and individual accountability. It’s about empowering people to choose how, when and where they work. And from my own experience I can wholeheartedly say that reduced hours never means reduced commitment.”

A business case for change

“We are very passionate about the business case for change on flexible working, both at EY and for British business. It helps to attract and retain the best and brightest; our employees, clients and customers demand it; and it can lead to competitive advantage.”

It starts with a business conversation

“Working flexibly will be different for each person, parents and non-parents alike. And while admittedly this style of working can appeal to women who are parents, this is not just about the gender agenda. The next generation also expect more virtual working and increased flexibility – we hear this from many of our graduate recruits.”

“Working flexibly can be part-time working, reduced hours, or regular sabbaticals/time off to fulfil a passion or commit to a hobby. But one thing that is common to all of these is balancing business needs with personal desires. All flexible working arrangements start with a business conversation.

More role models

“If flexible working is to really take off, we will require more people to actively role model their success. This isn’t about being perfect, it’s about demonstrating that working flexibly is a viable option, is not an inhibitor to career progression and that, warts and all, it can work and makes good business sense.”