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Flexible working is key for Londoners

Research shows flexible working is key to work-life balance for Londoners

New research from the CIPD shows that flexible workers in the capital are more satisfied with their jobs, feel under less pressure and have better work-life balance than those who don’t work flexibly.

The research also highlights the amount of time Londoners spend commuting – an average of 47 minutes travelling to work each way, compared to the national average of 31 minutes. Average travel time increases to 56 minutes each way if you consider a combination of both employees who live in London and those that commute into the capital from outside the M25. This means that many Londoners are travelling for the equivalent of at least one full working day in a ‘typical’ week.

The CIPD’s survey comes four years after the London 2012 Olympics, which was hoped to be a catalyst for change in terms of how businesses and individuals in London approach flexible working while taking pressure off road and rail infrastructure in and around the capital.

It found that despite having much longer commuting times than the national average, fewer employees living in London work flexibly in some way (52%) compared to the national average (54%).

In its policy programme, “Opportunity through work: A manifesto for London”, the CIPD is calling for the next Mayor of London to lead a campaign, working with employers and professional bodies, to achieve a step-change in the uptake of flexible working among Londoners. This is in order to improve working lives, support efforts to increase diversity and inclusion and help individuals balance work with other commitments, such as child or elder care, or to support their lifestyle.

The CIPD’s research highlights the positive impact that flexible working has on the working lives of people living in London:

  • Almost seven in 10 (69%) employees living in London who work flexibly report they are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs, compared to 52% of employees that don’t work flexibly
  • Just 24% of flexible workers living in London report being under excessive pressure every day or once or twice a week, compared to 42% of non-flexible workers
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of flexibly working Londoners are very satisfied with their work-life balance compared to just one in 10 (10%) who don’t work flexibly
  • The top benefits of flexible working cited by employees living in London who already work flexibly are better work-life balance (53%), less time spent commuting (32%), reduced stress (30%) and improved productivity (30%).