It is insufficient to simply allow flexible working. To be effective, flexible working must be enabled.
A couple of recent pieces illustrate the point.
Research from Microsoft, reported on ComputerWeekly.com, highlights how 90 per cent of UK businesses now allow flexible working but only 34 per cent provide the basic technologies to make flexible working a practical reality: laptops, remote connectivity etc. Only 44 per cent have invested in collaboration technology like instant messaging or video-conferencing.
The Microsoft research also found that while 60 per cent of business leaders say policies are in place, 70 per cent of workers are unaware of their existence.
At the same time, on the HBR Blog, Tony Schwarz highlights the need to adopt a mature, results-orientated (as opposed to presence-orientated) management style: hire smart, trustworthy people and hold them to account for results, not hours. (And, of course, a results over hours focus makes it far easier to effectively access the expertise on demand offered by interim managers and other freelancers.)
The essential elements for flexible working : Tools and Trust.