That’s according to research published by workspace provider Regus for International Women’s Day.
The poll of 2,200 business owners and senior managers found two thirds believe returning mothers bring skills and experience which are difficult to find in the current market. Two fifths (41%) of those who responded anticipate hiring more working mothers in the next two years, up from 26% on 2011.
Respondents pinpoint flexible hours, working closer to home, part-time work and the option to video conference instead of travelling at least some of the time as the top strategies to get more mothers back into the workforce.
In particular, six in ten report that more women are demanding to work remotely when they return to the workforce. Just under half (49%) say working closer to home is a key incentive, rather than working from home.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of those surveyed note that they are seeing more women take maternity leave of under three months.
Celia Donne, vice president for global operations at Regus, said: “It is high time that UK businesses address the issue of how to adapt working practices to better suit working mothers. It is very positive that two in five UK firms intend to hire more women returning after maternity leave but they often find that juggling professional and family duties can be very demanding, if not impossible.
“More employers are realising that flexible working is critical to helping women back into the workplace, especially the option of working locally rather than commuting.”
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/european_parliament/