23 August 2007 | Antony Barton
The working lives of purchasers are more flexible compared with a decade ago, according to 81 per cent of buyers in the latest SM 100 poll.
Many of those work for firms that make allowances for the special needs of children and other dependants. Some believe flexible working is needed to allow for travelling abroad or making calls across different time zones. Yet one buyer, who starts work early to communicate with Asia, claims peer pressure from "9 to 5" staff tends to make early starters work longer.
Tim Bourne, procurement officer for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, disagrees that the profession is more flexible. He said the number of contracts for EU tender seemed to increase each year, meaning more regulation, longer timescales and more complicated ways of working.