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Flexible working options on the rise

Flexible working options are on the rise as businesses flex to attract talent

Flexible working options are now a key differentiator for new job candidates, say 70% of organisations.

Workforce time management solutions provider 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 hours are still the most popular form of flexible working (offered by 97% of those surveyed that do offer options), followed by flexitime (offered by 84%) and compressed hours (offered by 77%). The survey also highlighted that flexible working options are 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 survey 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 options.

A staggering 86% of organisations reported an increase in requests for flexible working during the recruitment process. Reasons given were family commitments (universally popular), followed by reducing long-distance travel or commuting 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 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.”

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.”