A new survey by YouGov has found that only 6% of UK workers work a regular 9am – 5pm working day. Almost 50% of people work flexible hours, including job sharing, compressed hours and different start and finish times, in order to balance their work with other commitments. When asked to specify their preferred working hours, 37% of those surveyed chose 8am – 4pm, followed by 7am – 3pm. One of the reasons for these preferences may be the need to balance work and childcare, with pressure on parents to collect children from schools and nurseries earlier than the end of the traditional workday. Other reasons may include the desire to avoid rush hour traffic.
The survey found that flexibility in work was important to people of all ages, not just parents, and that those who worked flexibly reported improved motivation and felt encouraged to stay in a job for longer as a result. However, many employees are still not aware of their right to request flexible working, and according to CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese: “Uptake of flexible working is still low, and most jobs are not advertised as being open to different working arrangements.”
Leading businesses stand to reap the rewards of staying ahead of the curve in offering flexible working arrangements, which not only cover different work hours but also encompass the ability to work remotely, whether from home, in a co-working space or a ‘third space’ such as a café or coffee shop. Technology plays a pivotal role in keeping employees connected beyond the traditional office space, and this flexibility can drive greater productivity by reducing costly and time-consuming travel, enabling people to better juggle work and other commitments, ultimately leading to greater employee engagement and lower staff turnover.
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For more on this story, see the BBC news website.