Businesses must be flexible in the way they allow their people to work as restrictions continue to ease, a Lancashire business leader has said.
Denys Smith Hart, of Lytham-based InterSys Group, said the ability for people to work from home had been one of the biggest innovations of the COVID-19 pandemic and one likely to continue after it.
However, he said having flexibility would be important to ensuring businesses can continue to drive productivity and growth.
InterSys Group is sponsoring the Innovation Business of the Year category at this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, The BIBAs, which got its interviews underway yesterday (Monday, June 14).
Denys said: “During the pandemic, many employers have seen the advantages of an agile workforce in terms of diversity, skills and productivity.
“Now we appear to be emerging from restrictions, there needs to be a broad range of remote, workplace and flexible working options, as well as clear guidance and information to help people embrace it.
“If businesses can successfully introduce flexible working, they will be able to attract the best people and unlock new talent pools.
“Offering flexible working opens the door for businesses to find the talent they need to fuel growth and rebuild our economy.”
A study of more than 900 UK firms by the British Chambers of Commerce showed 66% of businesses had offered employees the chance to work from home.
Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) said they expect to have at least one employee working from home for the next 12 months, but 55 per cent warned that remote working could impact people’s mental health.
The BIBAs has entered its interview stage with businesses from across Lancashire being quizzed by the awards’ judges on videoconferencing.
Each judge will enter their scores in to an online scoring database built by Intersys Group to select the eight finalists in the 19 prize categories up for grabs.
The judges will not be able to see other judges’ scoring, and a shortlist of eight will be selected from their scores.
The awards’ ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Blackpool Tower on Friday, September 17, however, it has also booked the venue for Friday, November 26 in the event restrictions prevent the gathering to take place on the first date.
For full details and to buy tickets for the ceremony, visit www.thebibas.co.uk.