Workers salute flexible working but fail to cut working hours

A new report from recruitment specialists Reed claims that employees are embracing more flexible working patterns but continue to work long hours.

The report which marks Reeds 50th anniversary shows that one in four employees are at their desk by 7.30 am and don’t get away until at least 6pm. Forty per cent don’t even leave their desk to take a lunch break, say Reed. The average break lasts for just 33 minutes.
Sadly work doesn’t finish in the office, with most completing 42 minutes of ‘homework’ every night – saying that there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done. Yet the findings show that just under half of the 3,000 workers polled (48%) wants to spend more time working from home whilst four in ten (43%) are keen to give up the traditional ‘nine to five’ in favour of less rigid working patterns, but more than a quarter (27%) say they couldn’t face working without the office banter.

Hooked on email

Many workers also admit that they are totally hooked on email, almost half (48%) say they can’t live without it, putting it above equality laws and mobile phones. More than one in 10 men (11%) also said they couldn’t live without their Blackberry and more than a quarter said the same of their laptop.

Tom Lovell, group managing director of Reed Specialist, said: “The key is that today’s workforce wants the flexibility to choose the working environment that best suits their lifestyle and aspirations. Employers also really need to understand applicants’ motivations so that they can achieve cultural as well as skills fit when recruiting the best people.”

The news is at odds with research recently reported by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development which showed that working hours have actually been slashed as a direct result of a growth in part-time working and a drop in full-time working.

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