In June 2014, the government extended the right to request flexible working hours to every employee. However, despite an estimated 14.1 million UK workers wanting to work flexibly, this option is only mentioned in 6% of job advertisements, according to recruitment
A survey by the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) shows that 42% of workers would feel uncomfortable asking their employer about working more flexibly. The employers’ group says businesses should take flexible working more seriously to attract and retain the best staff. ‘A lot of companies offer flexible working but the onus should be on businesses to presume in favour, challenge outdated assumptions and give their employees more confidence to ask about the options,’ says Katja Hall, CBI deputy director-general.
What do companies stand to gain? A two-year study by the Cranfield School of Management, in which seven leading companies took part, showed a strong positive relationship between flexible working and individual performance. However, flexible working needs to be well-designed to succeed, or could become a source of stress.
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