New study shows SMBs are failing to adopt flexible working practices Thursday 5 July 2007 PDF Print •Just 40% of SMBs allow staff to work from home compared to 76% of large companies •Only 43% of SMBS have technologies in place to support home workers compared to 76% of large companies •11% of small businesses operate job sharing schemes, compared to 43% of larger companies Chalfont, UK. – 5th July, 2007: A new study published today shows that SMBs* are lagging behind larger companies and missing out on the benefits of flexible working which can increase productivity and support staff recruitment and retention policies by helping employees achieve a work-life balance. The independent research, commissioned by Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) showed that just 40% of SMBs allow employees to work from home, compared to 76% of large companies. Large enterprises are also far more likely to allow employees to adjust start and finish time, and four times more likely to operate job sharing schemes. According to the Citrix Online study, the three most popular flexible working options amongst UK businesses as a whole are: allowing staff to take a day’s holiday at short notice, offered by 78%; adjusting start and finish time with 64%; with working home in third place, cited by just 41% of companies. The study suggests that while 90% of UK employers offer some flexible working options, many employees are missing out because companies are simply paying lip service to the concept and failing to provide adequate technological support for home working. Only 43% of SMBs have any technologies in place to support home working, compared to 76% of bigger companies. However both sectors have been slow to take advantage of the full range of technological options available to support home working and increase employer productivity. Of those companies that do provide technological support, a laptop is the most popular choice, cited by 70% of respondents, followed by mobile phones offered by 35% of companies; however, in third place, only one in four UK employers offer remote access to internal systems so that employees can work from home as if they were in the office. Looking ahead, the SMB sector is in danger of falling further behind: just over half of large companies say they are likely to introduce new technologies over the next three years to facilitate remote working or home-working, compared to just one in five employers in the SMB sector. “Perhaps the most surprising finding of this research is that SMBs, who often have greater operational flexibility than their corporate competitors, are failing to seize the opportunity offered by flexible working,” commented Simon Presswell, Managing Director EMEA, Citrix Online. He continued: “Given the importance of flexible working practices in attracting and retaining the best talent, SMBs are in danger of missing out on the most skilled professionals, many of whom are parents and are increasingly demanding work-life balance. The tide is changing in favour of flexible working, with increasing parliamentary support for flexible rules to be extended to all parents with children under the age of 18. We have also witnessed a steep increase in users of GoToMyPC®, a software service which facilitates home working by giving employees remote access to their office desktop. Flexible working is being driven by those employers who recognise the need to create a healthy, stress-free and productive work-force.” David Lennan, chairman of Work Wise UK and former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce adds: "Having smaller workforces, SMBs tend to think that any changes they make in working practices will not have a significant impact on the economy as a whole. But of the 1.1 million enterprises in the UK, 99% are SMBs, so there is most certainly potential for the sector to make a major contribution. "Perhaps SMBs should consider instead the considerable benefits smarter working has upon their own staff and employees in terms of well being, work-life balance and health, all paid for by the significant resulting increases in productivity. The wider benefits to the economy will certainly follow as more-and-more SMBs make the move towards more progressive working practices." Ends Notes to Editors Methodology The study is based on 202 interviews taken by an independent research house in April-May 2007 with Heads of HR in a representative cross-section of British businesses. In smaller companies, where there was no specialist HR/Personnel department, interviews were taken with the Managing Director. The study covered private sector companies only and did not cover the public and not-for-profit sector. Sole traders were excluded but apart from this companies of all sizes, from the very smallest to the very largest, were eligible for interview. *SMB: A definition Our survey follows the European Union definition of a small to medium sized business (SMB) as a legally independent company with no more than 500 employees. According to the UK government’s Small Business Statistical Analysis Unit, there are an estimated 4.3 million SMBs in the UK, representing 99% of all UK businesses and accounting for half of the UK's turnover and employment. About Citrix Online Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS), is a leading provider of easy-to-use, on-demand applications for remote desktop access, Web conferencing and collaboration. Its award-winning services, which are used by more than 22,000 businesses and hundreds of thousands of individual subscribers, include: Citrix® GoToMyPC for remote PC access; Citrix® GoToAssist™ for live remote support; Citrix® GoToMeeting® for online meetings; and Citrix® GoToWebinar™ for do-it-yourself Web events. Based in Santa Barbara, California, Citrix Online has offices around the world. For more information, please visit www.citrixonline.com. About Citrix Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) is the global leader and the most trusted name in application delivery infrastructure. More than 180,000 organisations worldwide rely on Citrix to deliver any application to users anywhere with the best performance, highest security and lowest cost. Citrix customers include 100% of the Fortune 100 companies and 98% of the Fortune Global 500, as well as hundreds of thousands of small businesses and prosumers. Citrix has approximately 6,200 channel and alliance partners in more than 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2006 was $1.1 billion. ### Citrix®, GoToMyPC®, GoToMeeting®, GoToWebinar™, All You Can Meet™ and All You Can Reach™ are trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners. This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Wildfire in the following categories: Business & Finance, Education & Human Resources, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.