New research among more than 2,000 UK adults – all in full-time or part-time work – commissioned by KnowYourMoney.co.uk has uncovered the importance of flexible working practices to employees today. It found:
- 75% of UK adults are in favour of a four-day week even if they have to squeeze their full five-day hours into one fewer days
- 49% would take a relative (20%) pay-cut to move from a five-day to a four-day week
- 71% of UK workers consider flexible working (in term of hours and location) as important to their job satisfaction
- Women are more likely to say this than men (74% versus 67% respectively)
- Half (50%) cannot work remotely when they want or need to, and 46% have no flexibility in the hours they work
- 29% of full-time workers have left a job in the past 12 months because they wanted a role that offered greater flexibility
- 37% are currently looking for a new job for this reason
- Elsewhere, 45% of workers find it harder now than in the past to detach themselves from their jobs because they receive work emails on their smartphone 24/7
- 42% do not feel their employer supports or cares about their mental health
- 32% are unhappy with their current work-life balance
What’s your experience?
How important is flexible working to you? Since having children I’ve found this vital, just to make family life work.
In the past I’ve worked in organisations with zero flexibility and those with reasonable flexibility, but nothing offers me the range of flexibility I need to fit everything around my family. For me, working from home and being self-employed was the only option to achieve the required flexibility.
KnowYourMoney.co.uk’s research demonstrated employees’ strong appetite to reduce the working week from five to four days. Is this something you would consider, even if you were increasing your hours during the other days?
Changing working practices
Working practices have changed radically over the past two decades – the rise of new technology has made it far easier and more common for employees to work remotely and flexibly, although it seems that many companies have still not caught up with the trend.
It does seem that these organisations are at risk of losing talented staff if they cannot provide more flexible structures, whether that’s relaxing the set offices hours, allowing employees to work from home, or even offering the option of a four-day week.
Ultimately, technology shouldn’t increase employees’ stress level by preventing them to switch off, but instead should be embraced to create new opportunities for people to achieve a better work-life balance.
What are your thoughts?