One in three workers feel they are viewed as less important as a result of flexible working

Working at home


A third of flexible workers feel they are regarded as having less status and importance because of their flexible working pattern, according to a new survey.

The survey by Timewise of over 1,800 workers who work or want to work flexibly also found a quarter felt they were given access to fewer opportunities and missed-out on potential progression and promotion opportunities due to their work pattern. A further quarter said they felt disadvantaged because they couldn’t attend work-related events outside of working hours. The vast majority of those questioned for the survey were women.

The study backs up’s 2017 annual survey findings that showed nearly half of women felt flexible working had affected their career progression, although they also noted that 73% said flexible working in senior jobs was vital for career progression.

A majority of respondents agreed that organisations need to step away from passive policies and approaches, and instead create a workplace culture in which people are judged on the work they do rather on the hours they work, recruit and train managers who truly support their team to achieve work/life balance and implement a range of suitable flexible working options.

The survey accompanies a new report published by Timewise and Deloitte called A Manifesto for Change: A Modern Workplace for a Flexible Workforce. It calls on employers to do five things to change their workplace culture:

  1. Leaders must provoke cultural change – challenge the status quo
  2. Flexible working to be gender neutral – emphasise the value of male and female role models
  3. Design flexibility into the job – ask “why not” rather than “why”
  4. Influence the attitudes and actions of managers – provide the permission and tools to support a flexible workforce
  5. Collect the data – measure the success of flexible working.


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