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Essential resources for flex workers

In our International Comparative Flexible Working Survey 2013, we asked respondents what kind of facilities they provide their employees in the way of training activities and computer accessories. The findings of this survey showed that Germany, The United Kingdom, Belgium and The Netherlands are doing a good job of this within the framework of flexible working. But what do flex workers actually need to be able to work responsibly wherever they are?
Download PDF The figures
When it comes to training activities, schooling and/or coaching, the Netherlands ranks number one with 93% of the companies saying that they provide this. The United Kingdom and Belgium are also doing well (78% and 77% respectively) with Germany a little farther behind (55%). In the Netherlands, 86% of the organizations reported that they provide accessories for improving the efficiency and comfort of working with computers, laptops and tablets. Ranking in the mid-range are England (70%) and Germany (68%) followed somewhat behind by Belgium (58%). Naturally, providing flex workers with the right accessories means allowing for this in the budget. More than half of the responding HR professionals in Germany and the Netherlands believed they have a sufficient budget for computer accessories (Germany: 57%, The Netherlands: 51%). Of the HR professionals in England, 47% were satisfied with their budget. This is 42% in Flanders. In Wallonia, however, 55% of the respondents were unsatisfied with their budget and said that their organization only does what the legislation requires. Finally, 1 in 10 responding HR professionals in all the countries thought that their organization sees computer accessories as having low priority.
Working responsibly
The survey figures reflect a positive trend in supporting employees with computer accessories to make their work outside the office comfortable and ergonomically responsible as well. Even so, this situation could still be substantially improved. Employees are increasingly working while they are underway, at home or at flexible workstations. This means that more and more people are working with a laptop. But providing a laptop is just the beginning. To make working at a laptop ergonomically responsible all day long requires the use of accessories.

Equipping flex workers
What today’s flex worker exactly needs is a question being posed in many organizations. BakkerElkhuizen specializes in various workstation concepts: the fixed workstation, the flexible workstation, the mobile workstation, and the home workstation. For employees who are often underway and who work at one location and then another, all accessories should be as light and compact as possible. This also provides ergonomic advantages. A lightweight laptop stand such as the UltraStand, for example, makes the screen freely positionable. This prevents assuming an incorrect posture and enables adjusting the screen to the right viewing angle. Another requirement is an external keyboard. A compact keyboard (without a numeric pad) is the most suitable. Not only is it easy to carry in a laptop bag but it also reduces the reaching distance to the mouse. A flex worker’s standard equipment should also include not just a mouse but also a mouse pad and a wrist rest. Finally, a trolley or laptop bag makes it easy and ergonomically responsible to transport a mobile workstation.

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