Technology and Engineering are Calling for Flexible Working
Are you responding to the demands of the market?
Flexible working is far more common than many would expect; over 50% of UK organisations offer flexible working, and 97% of firms believe that flexible working is vital or important to the competitiveness of the UK’s labour market.
As internet technology is advancing and businesses are continually becoming savvier with their benefits packages, the concept of staff always working 9-5pm every day is becoming a motif of a bygone era. Skype meetings, virtual offices and remote working are now driving a shift in attitude amongst employers both large and small, as they realise that flexible and remote working generates equal, if not greater, productivity in employees…and improves well-being at the same time!
In such a candidate-driven market, companies who recognise this have a better chance of attracting that all important top talent.
A work-life balance is starting to be seen as less of a luxury and is increasingly sought after by top talent. It is no longer just the working parent who values flexible working, it’s now equally important to the younger generation who are motivated by a flexible work-life balance.
According to the Family Care review 2016 (all stats in this blog refer to this report):
- Over 55% of millennials would like flexible start and finish times
- 60% of stay-at-home mothers would return to work if flexible working was an option
- 24% of people across the UK would like the opportunity to work remotely once a week.
How Much Do People Care About Flexible Working?
What do you look for before you sell yourself into a great company? A great bonus? Childcare vouchers? Free private healthcare? Great incentive trips? 81% said they look for flexible working opportunities over and above any other benefits before joining a company. The other most popular benefits include private healthcare insurance, enhanced pension scheme and good commission/bonus.
The Benefits of Flexible Working
Flexible working can greatly enhance employees’ health and well-being. Having such a strong work-life balance not only allows employees to spend more time with their families and partners but also leads to an overall happier workforce in the office.
Companies offering such work-life balance puts them amongst the favourites for top talent and enhances their talent retention abilities. Many companies have also reported an increase in productivity correlating with the introduction of flexible working. Let’s have a look at the stats…
87% of employees and 92% of employers believed those who work flexibly are the same if not more productive than those who don’t.
Vodafone found that 83% of 8,000 global employers believed that flexible working had resulted in improvements in productivity. Employees are more efficient when they work in the hours of the day they feel most productive, and you’ve guessed it…this can lead to some serious penny-saving!
Back in 2013, 22 of Britain’s largest companies committed to offering flexible working rights after they discovered that such an arrangement cut their workforce costs by up to 13%.
Do Flexi-Working Preferences Differ Across Industries?
Interestingly, the most popular flexible working structure is working from home 1-2 days a week, with flexible in-office start and finish times.
- 75% of technology and 36% of engineering employees want to work remotely
- 77% of technology and 52% of engineering employees want flexible start/finish times.
What’s Holding Us Back?
Although people are clearly calling for flexible working, is there something holding us back? Is it employers lacking the confidence in the scheme or are employees afraid to take advantage of such benefits?
As an employer, are you concerned about how to monitor flexible working or are you unconvinced by the productivity benefits? Are you concerned about a lack of control over your employees or impact on your office culture? It could be time to do some research or have a trial period of flexible working, after which you can assess the results.
As an employee could there be an issue around perception? Well, in fact, 51% of employees felt that they’d be perceived as less committed to the business if they discussed flexible working with their Manager, and 30% said they felt that such discussions would impact their chances of promotion.
We’re giving flexible working a go too…so far, so good! We’ll update you with results after the trial but we’re confident it’s making a positive difference! We think that flexible–working demonstrates a great level of trust and autonomy, and ultimately, employees want to feel valued and trusted.
For more information on ways to attract top talent check out our recent blog ‘How to Make Engineers Choose Your Company.’ Do not hesitate to give our expert consultants a call on 0117 4280600 if you have any questions about how to showcase your company to your candidate market.