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Unilever to be 30% location-free by 2015

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The international company Unilever has made a commitment to make 30 per cent of the staff positions in its business location-free by 2015.

Since the firm advocates flexible and mobile working new recruits are allowed to decide where they work and the hours in which they choose to do so, reports the Financial Times.

Making sure that their choices are appropriate to their tasks, employees may decide where abouts in the office to work and whether this is on a hot desking basis.

As a result staff will be judged on their efficiency and performance as opposed to the number of hours they work, which has traditionally been the case.

Unilever hope that by meeting their targets for 2015 they will cut down on the amount of office space they need, as well as the amount employees need to travel for business.

Fiona Laird, senior vice president of human resources at Unilever, told the news provider: “It’s absolutely critical to have the marriage of HR, real estate and technology. You can’t do one without the others.”

The success of flexible working arrangements depends just as much on management as the individual workers and at Unilever this point is addressed by annual assessments on the people higher up the chain.

Their ability to manage home workers and hot desks is considered and as long as business needs are met, the process can work harmoniously.

More and more companies are deciding to work this way and as technology evolves it makes such practices easier.

Modern lives are also more complicated and less likely to fit into the traditional nine to five pattern, meaning staff who can organise their work to suit them are often happier.

Making travel less of a necessity is not just good for the environment, but saves both the company and employees money and less time is wasted.