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The news that the Government is to give schools the power to set their own term times has caused a stir among educationalists, teachers and parents alike. Set out in the Deregulation Bill the change is intended to take effect from September 2015. If the bill is passed the move would see state schools falling into line with academies, some faith schools and private schools which are already able to set their own holiday patterns and working days.
The proposal reflects a growing awareness about the importance of mixing rest and recuperation time with work to obtain the optimum benefits. Business too is experimenting in this area with moves towards flexible working being widely reported. Whilst there are some processes which require attendance in a work or manufacturing environment, tasks which are internet or PC based can often just as easily be managed via home working. So we are seeing businesses experimenting with longer days but shorter weeks or flexing work patterns around a work/life balance.
These moves can have a profound impact on the culture of the business. Whilst employees are more likely to be engaged in a business which promotes flexible working; it can be all too easy to lose sight of the central culture when employees are working from multiple locations. Managers need to be aware of the pitfalls as well as the benefits and to take active steps to ensure that the culture stays on track.