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Flexible working: employers could be missing a trick

Posted on from Changeboard

There appears to be a discrepancy between the number of employees that want to work flexibly and those that do. Could employers be shrinking their prospective talent pool by not offering the much sought after perk?

New research has revealed that a significant disconnect between the high number of people that want to work flexibly and the low number of employers who actively embrace it.

A survey of employees and employers conducted by charity My Family Care, and global recruitment company Hydrogen, has revealed 54% of respondents want to work remotely, but only 34% actually do.

There was also a sizable disconnect between the hours people work and what they want to work. Just over a third (37%) of people have flexible start and finish times. Almost double that figure wanted flexible working hours (63%).

Ben Black, director of Family Care said: “With so many of any given workforce having some kind of caring or family responsibility, the benefits of flexible working are vast

“With the rising number of working mothers in the UK, the increase in pension age, a rapidly ageing population – and the emergence of the so-called ‘sandwich generation’ where individuals are called upon to care for both their children and elderly relatives – businesses need to see the value in offering flexible working to attract and retain top quality staff.”

Flexible working was the most in-demand workplace perk when considering a new role, with 81% of respondents looking for other typical benefits such as an enhanced pension scheme (35%) and private healthcare (28%). Some 86% of parents of young children cited flexible working as a key perk, with 81% of adult dependant also valuing it highly.

Over half of employees (53%) would take flexible hours over a 5% salary increase – 45% would choose flexibility over a 10% increase.

Ian Temple CEO of Hydrogen commented: “The way we work is radically changing in our digitally connected world. However, our research has found that while demand is very high for flexible working, many companies are not capitalising on this by encouraging it through the marketing of their roles or promoting it internally which would increase the pool of talent they could attract.”

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