74% of SMBs are Meeting the Needs of Parents by Offering Flexible Work Options Thursday 1 May 2008 PDF Print But 58% Expect Government Plan to Extend Parental Leave to Negatively Impact their Business Approximately half of SMBs are in favour of the government’s plan to extend flexible working to parents of older children Flexible Working tops list of company benefits for working parents, as 54% of mums want to work away from the office and 87% of dads look to ditch the daily commute UK dads say flexible working would make most significant positive difference to family life in the first year after a child’s birth Amersham, UK. – 1st May, 2008: A new study published today reveals that UK small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)* are embracing flexible working practices, with 74% saying they have introduced flexible working options and approximately half (47%) stating they believe the government’s plan to extend flexible working to parents of older children is a good idea. However, the independent research, commissioned by Citrix Online, which surveyed middle managers and above from 298 SMBs, as well as 1,800 working parents, also highlights SMB concerns over government plans to extend parental leave, with 58% stating that extending maternity leave would have a negative commercial impact on their business, and 48% for paternity leave. SMBs highlighted employee satisfaction (66%), staff retention (58%), and providing a work-life balance for working parents (48%) as the key business benefits to introducing flexible working. On an encouraging note, only 13% thought that quality of work would suffer and less than a third stated additional costs were a primary concern. The benefits of flexible working and Web commuting – the ability to work from anywhere and travel less, by using Internet-based tools and services – were also very clear to parents, with ‘working away from the office’ being the top benefit that mums would like to receive from a job (54%), ranking above a pension (44%), and an annual bonus or health insurance (both 36%). For 87% of dads, avoiding traffic and saving time by not commuting to the office were the best things about working flexibly, while the majority of mums (69%) cited having more control over their day and spending more time with family. In contrast, parents voiced worries over government plans to extend maternity leave from 39 to 52 weeks and give fathers the right to up to 26 weeks paternity leave with statutory pay, if the mother returns to work. Almost half of dads (46%) and 44% of mums believe that taking extended leave would negatively impact their career, with the majority of dads citing that the ability to work flexibly would make the most positive difference to family life in the first year of their child’s birth, rather than taking extended paternity leave. Denise Tyler, founder of Mother@Work (www.motheratwork.co.uk), added: “Working parents worry about the affect that having children will have on their career aspirations, so it is promising to see that businesses are recognising the benefits of flexible working and introducing options that will really help employees.” “It is very encouraging to note a consensus between UK businesses and parents around flexible working,” commented Bernardo de Albergaria, Vice President and General Manager, Global Marketing and eCommerce, Citrix Online. “UK SMBs are actively exploring ways to enhance employee satisfaction and retention by enabling Web commuting. This way, companies can minimise disruption to their business while allowing parents the flexibility to achieve a rewarding home life as well as momentum in their career.” Ends Notes to Editors: *organisations with between 10 and 249 employees Methodology The research was carried out among 350 working mothers, who are registered users of the Mother@Work website, and 1,450 working fathers through the FQ Magazine portal. SMB research was carried out by YouGov Plc. Total YouGov sample size was 298 middle managers and above working for private sector organisations of between 10 and 249 employees. YouGov Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th - 11th February 2008. The YouGov survey was carried out online. About Mother@Work (www.motheratwork.co.uk) Mother@Work is an award winning online magazine dedicated to working mothers and founded in September 2003 by Denise Tyler, a Brighton based journalist and PR consultant. It offers its readers practical advice and information to get the right balance in their working, family and personal lives. About FQ Magazine FQ is the first in a new genre of men’s magazine, which targets all fathers and men whose lives and perspective have changed as they’ve entered fatherhood. FQ reflects the lives and aspirations of men who have grown out of ‘lads mags’ and require a more sophisticated read to suit their newly acquired tastes and interests. About Citrix Online Citrix Online provides secure, easy-to-use online solutions that enable people to work from anywhere with anyone. Whether using GoToMyPC® to access and work on a remote PC, GoToAssist® to support customers, GoToMeeting® to hold online meetings or GoToWebinar™ for large online events, our customers are increasing productivity, decreasing travel costs and improving sales, training and service on a global basis. We have more than 35,000 small and medium-sized businesses using our products, and hundreds of thousands of individual professionals as customers. A division of Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS), the company is based in Santa Barbara, California, with satellite offices and data centers throughout the world. For more information, visit www.citrixonline.com or call 805-690-6400. About Citrix Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CTXS) is the global leader and the most trusted name in application delivery infrastructure. More than 200,000 organizations 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 99% of the Fortune Global 500, as well as hundreds of thousands of small businesses and prosumers. Citrix has approximately 7,680 channel and alliance partners in more than 100 countries. 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