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Studies show demand for flexible working among UK employees is on the rise

Posted by Oliver Corrigan on Apr 10, 2018 8:30:00 AM
Oliver Corrigan
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A 2018 study shows the majority of workers in the UK would appreciate being offered flexible working, with many even favouring flexible working over the option of having a pay rise.

The research, which was conducted by the leading UK conference call service provider Powwownow, shows the number of employees who prefer flexible working increased from 70% to 75% in 2017 and that around three quarters of employees in Britain believe that their jobs would be more appealing if they were given flexible working benefits.

Powwownow’s study revealed gender disparities regarding flexible working arrangements, with 89% of female workers saying flexible work patterns would make their jobs more attractive compared to 69% of men.

The research also showed variations in how different generations viewed flexible working, with 70% of millennial workers craving greater flexible work patterns, compared to just 47% of the over 55 age group.

Jason Downes, Managing Director at Powwownow, spoke of the importance of offering flexible work.

“Businesses who want to attract and motivate the best talent need to recognise that in an increasingly busy digital world, where managing work-life balance is more complex, flexible working is a key consideration for employees applying for a new role.”

Benefits of flexible working

Flexible working, which has been defined as a type of working arrangement that gives employees greater choice and flexibility over where and when they work, brings a number of benefits both to employees and employers.

Being given greater freedom of where and when they perform working tasks, flexible working has been hailed for increasing productivity, improving work/life balance and generally enhancing job satisfaction.

For employers, having employees that are generally happier and satisfied in their job, leads to a more loyal workforce, which is less likely to look for another job, thereby improving retention rates amongst staff.

As Tom Neil, a guidance writer for ACAS, an organisation designed to prevent and resolve employment disputes, told The Guardian:

“Research from the CIPD has shown that implementing flexible working practices can improve staff engagement and motivation.”

Natalie Pancheri, HR Policy Adviser at the London School of Economics, agrees with Neil, commenting:

“The benefits of flexible working are well established, from increased employee engagement to better performance.”

Implementing flexible working practices

Businesses can introduce greater flexibility into the working arrangements of their company by allowing employees to work remotely. Depending on what works the best for the business, the company may allow staff to work just one or two days a week from remote locations. Alternatively, if business can be conducted completely from off-site locations, they may want to allow teams to work entirely remotely.

Other flexible working arrangement may include flexitime in which members of staff have more flexibility over their working hours. For example, if parents need to work around school-runs, they are able to start and finish work, so they can manage school runs and child care more proficiently.

Businesses may also want to consider moving into more flexible shared office space where they can work in a more flexible business environment. Such spaces cater for flexible working arrangements and fluctuations in business growth, rather than being tied to rigid and lengthy office leases that offer little in terms of flexibility. 



If you are thinking about moving your team to a more flexible office environment, designed to nurture employee productivity, satisfaction, staff retention and attract the best talent, get in touch with Carrwood Park’s friendly team. We offer high-quality flexible office space, which is conveniently located in a rural setting not far from Leeds City Centre.



Topics: business, productivity, office space, serviced offices

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