Demand for flexible working is on the increase

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HFX has published survey findings confirming that flexible working continues to increase across all sizes and types of organisation, both public and private.

The survey showed that part-time working is still the most popular form of flexible working (offered by 97 per cent of those surveyed that do offer flexible working options), followed by flexitime (offered by 84 per cent) and compressed hours (offered by 77 per cent).

The survey also highlighted that flexible working options is a key differentiator during the recruitment process with 70 per cent of organisations stating that it influenced whether or not a candidate accepted a job offer.

The survey, which was conducted between October 2016 and February 2017, shows that while 85 per cent of organisations were offering some form of flexible working, nearly a third of those that were not (28 per cent) were looking to review the situation within six months. Only a tiny fraction (2 per cent) said that there was no requirement for flexible working. After part-time, flexitime and compressed hours, job share (74 per cent) and phased retirement (54 per cent) were the most popular.

A staggering 86 per cent of organisations reported an increase in request for flexible working during the recruitment process, with 70 per cent saying that it directly impacted whether the candidate accepted the position. Reasons given for requesting flexible working were family commitments (universally popular), followed by reducing long distance travel or commute, and time for study/external education.

Nick Whiteley, MD of hfx commented; ‘The survey findings confirm that demand for flexible working is increasing and in fact, becoming the norm. As could be expected, age group makes a significant difference to interest in flexible working, with a peak during child-raising years and then again towards and during retirement. However, in large organisations this trend was evened out somewhat and anecdotal evidence suggests that this will continue to be the case.’

Nick continued; ‘As competition for talent is hot and set to become even hotter after Brexit, organisations need to recognise the value of time. In the future successful organisations will be those that can match staff working hours to fit their lifestyles and demand for the business, eradicating ‘dead time’. This more efficient way of working will also result in a more motivated and engaged workforce based on their contribution rather than simply presenteeism.’

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