18 December 2014

Employers not embracing flexible working

Many employers are still not embracing the benefits of flexible working, despite a third of workers wanting to change the way they work.

According to a report by the CIPD, many employers are still not embracing flexible working and the benefits it can bring, despite a third of workers wanting to change the way they work.

The study found that 90% of the organisations surveyed offered some sort of flexible working. Technically this should be 100% as all employees now have the right to request it. However, the majority (62%) only considered it after receiving a flexible working request, rather than proactively encouraging it. Of those surveyed, fewer than half said flexible working options were available for all staff.

It found that 28% of employees would like to change their working arrangements, by changing when they start/finish work or the number of hours or days they work. Interestingly, only 21% said they’d like more flexibility on where they work.

It also discovered that:

  • 47% work extra hours, mainly due to the amount of work they have. However, 30% do so to match customer demand and 36% of workers chose to be contactable outside normal working hours.
  • 45% work from their company’s core office most of the time, although 51% never work from home.
  • The most common forms of flexible working are homeworking or remote working, at 63% and 60% respectively for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Only 11% of SMEs are using coworking.
  • Only 44% of SMEs have a formal flexible working policy.
  • 53% cited operational pressures as a barrier to offering flexible working, although 22% said there were none.

Other findings from the report include information on employee work preferences:

  • Just 33% are aiming for a promotion rather than having a series of jobs at the same level.
  • Only 28% said work was central to their life, which is a drastic reduction compared 2005, when almost half said this was the case.
  • 22% would prefer to have a better paid job than one they really like

You can read the full report here.