Working Transitions

Flexible and Agile Working

Flexible working has increased dramatically in the 21st century. A 1999 survey by the Office for National Statistics showed 9.5% of the UK workforce were working flexible hours. Statistics from CIPD in 2019 showed that 54% of workers had the option to work outside of the standard 9 to 5 office hours. (Ann Swain, TheHRDirector, 2019).

An article by The Independent reported that in a study conducted of the benefits UK employees wanted their Employers to offer, more than half of the people surveyed wanted a better work-life balance and wanted their workplace to offer more flexible working. (Emma Elsworthy, The Independent, 2019).

A poll conducted by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), showed that 30% of all flexible working requests are turned down by managers, with current legislation stating employers can turn down requests if they have a legitimate business reason for doing so. The survey also found that 58% of workers believed the opportunity for flexible working in their role was unavailable. (Elizabeth Howlett, People Management, 2019).There are benefits to working flexibly for employees. In a poll conducted by the Association of Accounting Technicians, employees on flexible working hours felt they were more productive working flexibly and that they also take less leave from work because of their flexible working. (Grant Bailey, The Independent, 2018).

Another survey conducted by HSBC, looking into the tech industry found that 89% of the people surveyed stated that flexible working was the motivation behind them being more productive at work.

There can also be downsides to flexible working, as a Deloitte survey in 2018 showed.  30% of those working flexibly believed they were regarded as less important by their employer and a quarter of the surveyed also believed that they were not given the same opportunity for promotion as employees who worked regular shift patterns. (Emma De Vita, Financial Times, 2018).

Barriers to flexible working can include line manager reluctance, myths and stereotypes such as flexible working employees are not deemed as dedicated or ambitious and the ingrained culture of the traditional standard working hours, CIPD research suggests. (CIPD, 2018).

Get in touch to understand how Working Transitions can support you to attract and retain the right talent to support success.  



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Working Transitions
09 December 2019
Supporting effective and successful organisational change


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