HR · 12 January 2017

Flexible working culture demanded by three-quarters of staff

Flexible working and the law
Flexible working can bring real benefits to all parties when managed well

Employees have sent a message to bosses demanding a greater flexible working culture, as new research reveals that over half of all workers in Britain are considering moving jobs unless things change.

The study, undertaken by leadership organisation ILM, demonstrated the shifting priorities of modern day workers.

It found that three-quarters of UK employees wanted a more flexible working culture – citing more flexible hours and opportunities for creativity as part of the ideal workplace structure.

The research also highlighted the growing demand among employees for a greater say in business decisions – some two thirds of survey respondents expressed a desire to have more of an influence at work.

Commenting on the findings, ILM director John Yates declared that “overly complex heirachies are a thing of the past”.

“People today want to work at flexible, fun and friendly organisations – and those who can deliver on that always have an edge in recruitment. Organisations need to be flexible, allowing employees to pursue career ambitions and manage conflicting home life pressures as much as possible,” he said in a statement.

How to develop a flexible working culture

Flexible working hours

A recent survey from workspace firm Regus suggested that commuting problems have led to a tipping point for many workers. It found that 58 per cent of respondents wanted to work remotely in 2017 in order to regain wasted hours.

The offer of flexible working could give a small business the edge when it comes to recruiting the workforce of the future, with a 2015 study by Bright Network suggesting that it was the number one priority for work-life balance conscious graduates.

Employer’s may also benefit from a cut in bills, as employees power their computers from home.

Increase engagement

Office Genie head of strategy Peter Ames told Business Advice recently of the benefits in keeping workers up to date with business progress.

“To keep employees engaged, you should share topline company information, define expectations, be consistent and set a good example from the top,” he said.

Encourage creativity

Redesigning an office into different working zones is one way in which employers can foster greater creativity for workers.

If creative areas and soundproof solo-working booths are unrealistic, even standing desks can be an effective way in keeping energy and creativity levels up.

Get out of the office

Providing a change of scenery can boost creativity and support a flexible working culture. Short bursts of fresh air outside give employers and workers a chance to see things differently and come back with renewed inspiration.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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