Part-time working is still the most popular form of flexible working (offered by 97% of those surveyed that do offer flexible working options), followed by flexitime (offered by 84%) and compressed hours (offered by 77%). The new survey by hfx also highlights that flexible working options is a key differentiator during the recruitment process with 70% of organisations stating that it influenced whether or not a candidate accepted a job offer.
The results of the study have been summarised in a new white paper: Flexible Working – how to make it work for businesses and employees.
The survey, which was conducted between October 2016 and February 2017, shows that while 85% of organisations were offering some form of flexible working, nearly a third of those that were not (28%) were looking to review the situation within six months. Only a tiny fraction (2%) said that there was no requirement for flexible working. After part-time, flexitime and compressed hours, job share (74%) and phased retirement (54%) were the most popular.
A staggering 86% of organisations reported an increase in request for flexible working during the recruitment process, with 70% 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.
According to Nick Whiteley, MD of hfx, “The demand for flexible working is increasing and in fact, becoming the norm.” He points out that age group makes a big 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.”
Whiteley believes that 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.”