A quarter of full time workers would prefer to work part time if it did not affect their pay per hour or career progression, according to research by Timewise.
Their report Flexible Working: A Talent Imperative is based on a survey of over 3,000 workers and reveals that more than six in 10 (63 per cent) permanent full-time employees now work flexibly in some way, and of those who don’t, nearly two thirds (64 per cent) would prefer to.
Timewise says there is strong preference for non-traditional working patterns from both male (84 per cent) and female (91 per cent) full-time workers. The survey finds more than seven in 10 (73 per cent) of those aged 18 to 34 who are working full-time do so flexibly. Some seven in 10 (69 per cent) of those who do not currently work flexibly would like to do so.
Timewise says that the lack of quality jobs advertised as being open to flexible working options is increasingly out of step with how British workers are currently working and how they need and want to. “This is trapping millions who are either unable to progress their careers on a flexible basis, or are locked-out of the jobs market completely, due to their need to work flexibly,” says Timewise.
The survey shows 70% of part-time employees who would prefer to continue working part-time say their part-time arrangement is essential or very important to them; 71% of full-time workers who have a flexible working arrangement say it is essential or very important to them; and amongst full-time workers who do not work flexibly but want to, 77% see it as being beneficial or very beneficial. The main reason for wanting flexible working is having a greater work life balance.
Karen Mattison, Timewise Joint CEO, says: “The fact that flexible working has been seen as a women’s issue has not done women or businesses any favours. Today’s new research shows once and for all that flexible working is a preferred way of working for both men and women at all stages of their working lives. Today’s workforce not only want it, but they expect it. It’s time for businesses to get smarter and use flexibility as a tool to attract and keep the best people. Those who lag behind in adapting how they hire, will risk losing out on millions of skilled workers”.