What does the Flexible Working Bill really mean for UK tech workers?

With the introduction of the Flexible Working Bill, Jobbio's Aoibhinn McBride explains why it's a plus for tech workers in the UK

The viability of remote work continues to be a hot topic in tech.

In one camp you have the companies that facilitate it and allow their employees to work where and when suits them best, following a goal or target-driven model that doesn’t require sitting at a desk from 9am until 5pm.

In the other camp, which includes some of the biggest names in tech such as Amazon, Google and Dell, you have the organisations that are dialling back workplace flexibility and issuing RTO (return to office) mandates. In Dell’s case, it is also stipulating that those who work remotely will never be eligible for promotion.

In the UK, nearly half (40 per cent) of all workers work in some form of remote capacity, for all or part of the week and those living in London reported the highest levels of hybrid working.

In April, the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill 2023 came into effect, meaning all UK workers, even those who are in their first day of a new job, have the right to request flexible working.

While employers aren’t legally required to grant flexible working arrangements, they are legally required to consider all requests for flexible work and must provide a reason for refusal. But will this really change things and give workers more agency when requesting remote work?

Looking to the future

“Flexible work is an important factor in attracting and retaining talent, but it has to work for the business as well. That means being really intentional about how and when teams come together, whether that’s to forge relationships for learning or for more creative tasks like brainstorming that work better in person,” says Chris Mills, global head of customer success at Slack.

“It also means being really thoughtful about how you use technology to connect, to make it easy to share and find information, and to automate tasks to free people to focus on higher value work.

“That last part is an area we will see accelerated by the next chapter for work: AI. Similarly to AI – provided organisations have the right tools and processes in place to create trusted foundations – flexible work is something that can boost productivity for organisations rather than being something to be feared.”

This move towards embracing technology, particularly AI tools, to enhance remote work is echoed by Daniel Pell, UKI country manager at Workday.

“To navigate these new rules effectively, businesses will require a deep understanding of their workforce’s needs. To achieve this at scale, companies can leverage real-time analytics, which enable them to track requests, assess the impact of flexible initiatives and gauge workforce sentiment.

“These insights will play an essential role in implementing flexibility in a way that optimises employee satisfaction, retention, and collaboration in today’s competitive marketplace,” he suggests.

“There may be concerns that this will create added work––but this need not be the case. AI has a potential role to play, for instance, by matching worker availability preferences with business demands, AI can help create transparent, flexible and trusted schedules that work for everyone.”

If your current employer isn’t open to remote work or isn’t utilising the tools available to facilitate more flexibility, it might be time to look for a job in a company that does. And if that is the case, the Information Age Job Board is the best place to focus your search. It features thousands of jobs in companies actively hiring, like the three below.

Staff Program Manager, Blackhawk Network, Hemel Hempstead

Blackhawk Network (BHN) is a leader in global branded payment technologies and its portfolio includes gift cards, e-gift products, and rewards and incentive programmes. As Staff Program Manager, you will partner with Product and Engineering leads and teams to define roadmaps, multi-sprint plans, and help deliver on those roadmaps.

As such, you will collaborate with other internal/external stakeholders, organise planning sessions, and lead critical programs associated with one or more technology areas including cloud software, development ecommerce, B2B commerce, payment processing, and rewards processing. Interested? Apply now.

Field Sales Consultant – Remote United Kingdom, SumUp London

SumUp is seeking a self-employed Field Sales Consultant who is passionate about sales, driven to succeed, and has a proven track record of exceeding targets. In this role you will identify and engage with high-potential clients within your designated territory, focusing on small and medium-sized businesses, proactively generate leads and build a robust sales pipeline through networking, referrals, and other targeted activities.

You will also be required to conduct face-to-face meetings and deliver persuasive product demonstrations to showcase the benefits of SumUp’s cutting-edge Card reader and POS solutions. See the full job description here.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO), AXA, Bristol

AXA has an exciting opportunity for a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to oversee its computable contracts architecture. As the primary point of engagement, your role will encompass several significant functions including, but not limited to: business architecture, data architecture, technical architecture, security architecture, and cloud infrastructure engineering.

You will also define, document, align and promote computable contracts architecture and products, and review designs and implementations to shape strategic paths for AXA’s software platform. If you’d like to know more, you can access additional information here.

Whether you’re looking for more flexibility or a fully remote role, visit the Information Age Job Board today

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Flexible working key for 80% of tech employees – Offering flexible working will be key for tech leaders who want to hire the best talent. Nearly 80% say working when and wherever you want plays a big part in deciding their next employer

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