Flexible working not being offered by employers

Just a quarter of the UK's workforce has been given the option to work flexibly, research finds.

Results of a study by Powwownow suggest that employers will only consider this way of working if employees come to them to ask.

The findings reveal that attitudes haven’t changed much despite the Flexible Working Law which was passed on June 30th 2014, giving all employees the right to request flexible working after 26 weeks’ employment service.

Further to this, nearly two thirds (60 per cent) of respondents also claim they are not encouraged to work flexibly and more than half (53 per cent) have worked a total of zero hours outside their office.

Some 62 per cent of people state they would be more productive if they could spend time working outside their usual place of work and 58 per cent admit being able to choose where to work from would help them think more creatively and generally be more motivated.

The findings come as something of a surprise with many UK businesses eager to showcase their flexibility towards staff with young families and other extra-curricular interests, according to Powwownow.

Although there is certainly scope for further growth, the UK is still well ahead of Europe, as just 6 per cent of workers in France have been offered flexible working.

Jason Downes, managing director of Powwownow says the results help to paint a picture of how UK businesses don’t appear to be as accommodating and flexible as they would have many believe.

‘Flexible working has become a key area now when people are looking for a job and companies in the UK face losing the top talent if they don’t adapt to this way of working,’ he adds. 

‘With the technology now on offer there is no need for people to have to work in an office from 9-5. This is old fashioned and seemingly unproductive and more needs to be done for this to change.’

Further reading on flexible working

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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