Research by Office Angels suggests employers slow to embrace flexibility as a tool will lose staff. The tendency to vote with their feet is particularly acute among younger workers. Over two-thirds (70%) of 25-34 year olds said flexible working was important enough for them to change jobs over – compared with 50% of those aged 45-54.
Employers also reported an increase in the number of flexible working requests in the last five years. Two thirds (65%) said the numbers have gone up and 46% offer it as part of the recruitment process.
While travel (26%) and childcare (34%) are important factors in the desire for flexible working, 48% of workers said they chose flexible working because they preferred it.
Angela Smith, managing director at Office Angels, said: “Flexible working is clearly more important to employees than ever before, and child care is not the main driver, rather it comes from the preference of employees. A strategic focus on flexible working can help an organisation attract and retain the best individuals.”
She added: “Whilst flexibility creates a work/life balance, it needs to be twinned with responsible choices. Opportunities to work flexibly should be clearly and transparently communicated to employees, with a working model in place that can be adapted. The right balance needs to be struck.”
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