Today sees the launch of new research from notonthehighstreet.com showing that more women than ever before are turning away from traditional ‘9 to 5’ roles in favour of more flexible and independent ways of working. Figures show in the last ten years, there has been a 50% increase in the number of self-employed women in the UK to 1.5 million.
The notonthehighstreet.com report found that nearly half of their 5000 Partners businesses (90% of which are run by women), cited ‘flexible working’ hours or ‘to have more time to spend with friends, family and children’ as one of the main motivations for setting up their own business. You can read plenty more on the reports findings on the BBC news today here.
This comes as no surprise to Digital Mums. As our #WorkThatWorks Movement attests, the current ‘9 to 5 coat-on- chair’ culture is something that should be assigned to another era. Today’s technology negates the need for such a rigid and restrictive way of working.
The reality is a lack of flexible work is costing the UK economy up to £62.5 billion in wasted mum talent alone. More businesses offering flexible working would have huge potential benefits for both themselves and employees. If employers want to tap into this talent, they need to wake up to a new way of working or be left behind.
Thankfully due to more opportunities for people to set up small businesses, through marketplaces like notonthehighstreet.com, we are starting to see changes in the working world. Women in particular are retraining or setting up their own business to find work that works around their families, and that is only going to continue to rise.
To shout about this awesome new research Digital Mums is partnering with notonthehighstreet.com to celebrate our #WorkThatWorks Movement and all the brilliant people in our communities and beyond that ARE able to benefit from flexible working that syncs with family life.
We’d love you to share a photo on Instagram (or a tweet!) of your deskie (that’s a photo of you and your workspace to the uninitiated!) to bring to life the variety, freedom and empowerment of what work means for you in 2017.
So whether it’s simply a photo of you on your phone, to a table at your local coffee shop, your kitchen table, the park or another creative space we want to see what #WorkThatWorks looks like to you and celebrate the rise of the Creative Economy.
As part of the research one of our Digital Mum graduates’, Laura Washburn Hutton spoke to the BBC about her #WorkThatWorks life.
“For me, flexible working, is about fitting gainful employment around my main business, which is the business of MyFamily ltd.
I did the Digital Mums course as I felt my skills need a refresh and a redirect to find work. And since graduating, for the past seven months, I have been working as the community manager for Wyevale Garden Centres.
I now have the flexibility to manage my own time, without being constrained by office hours, which means I can timetable all the various strands myself. I get given credit for being responsible and mature enough to get the job done, so I can do more than just "go to work".
Employers who embrace flexible working allow their employees to keep pace with the world, which in turn keeps them happy and productive. And happy productive employees are good for a business.”
Notonthehighstreet.com partners like Rachel Silk from Bree and Bella are also totally rocking the #WorkThatWorks life.
"While on maternity leave my previous company restructured and I was left without a job and a three month old baby. So I decided to set up my own business making children’s clothes where I could work around my daughter.
My key motivation was flexible working - I am now able to balance motherhood and running my own business.
I answer emails when she is asleep during the day and I do the majority of my work at night. I've got a really strong work ethic and I don't mind working around nap times, evenings; any time really. It's about being flexible and fitting it in and I love being able to do both things."
Share your deskies today to celebrate notonthehighstreet.com Creative Economy research and the awesome power of the #WorkThatWorks Movement. Use the #WorkThatWorks hashtag and be sure to tag in @digitalmums and @notonthehighstreet and we’ll reshare some of our favourite deskies on our channels. Of course you can also send a tweet too.