New research from Digital Mums shows 7 in 10 UK employees would like to have flexible working but only 12 percent have ever asked for it. Over half think that any request would be viewed negatively by their employer.
This suggests that, three years on, the government's 'right to request' law isn't going anywhere near far enough to remove the barrier to a more flexible way of working more in tune with today's technology and entrepreneurial workforce.
Our plan with the Digital Mums #WorkThatWorks Movement is for flexible working to be seen as the norm for everyone and not just the reserve of a ‘lucky’ few. We believe the rigid and restrictive ‘9 to 5 coat-on-chair’ culture should be assigned to the past.
To understand more, check out our F-Word video here:
To kick-start this societal shift in flexible working we want the government to clean up the F-word. We believe we need to go right back to basics. The full current definition on the government's website is:”Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, eg having flexible start and finish times, or working from home.”
We think this definition should be changed from solely describing ‘a way of working that suits an employee’s needs’ to ‘work that works for employees and businesses’.
A new definition needs to show the benefits of flexible working to businesses. 6 in 10 (61%) UK workers said they would be more productive if they could work flexibly and over two thirds (67%) said they would be more loyal to a business. Significantly, 75% of 18-24 year olds currently not working are more likely to apply for a job with flexible hours over a standard job.
A new definition will set us on a path to changing the way we work forever
A business that supports flexible working gets to attract and retain the best talent, see a difference to their bottom line and create a motivated and committed workforce. Here at Digital Mums we are living proof of that with 100% flexible working policy. Only 14% of employees are full-time and office based; 86% work part-time and remotely; 17% never step foot in the office!
It’s time to change the culture around flexible working in the UK and stop it being seen as a dirty word or an employee perk. Join us today and sign our petition to Clean Up The F-Word. Share it with your friends, colleagues and businesses - let's do this together!