Working hours will grow more flexible, but aren't yet

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Flexible working is due to become the norm, according to research by Ashridge Management College.

250 senior managers were questioned, these are some of the responses:
- 44% agreed with the statement: "in the 21st century there should be no barriers to people working when and where they like"
- Half said that the traditional 9-5 five-day week would be obselete in five years
- 62% agreed that the best and brightest will ask for more flexibility from employers
- 75%said that flexible working options will be essential for holding onto good staff

The respondents also gave some insights into their personal problems with balancing responsibilities:
- Three quarters said that work-life balance could be improved
- Almost half had turned down a job or not applied because of lack of flexibility
- Four in ten would accept less money for more flexibility
- Two out of three would like to work from home more

One in three respondents is working over 50 hours a week, 8% work over 60 hours. While most organisations involved offer some flexible, home-working and part-time arrangements, only one in ten respondents work part-time, and even fewer use job-shares, career-breaks or term-time patterns. All those who do work part-time are women. When asked for their ideal working arrangements, most chose flexibility in defining their work and how they do it.

Three principal barriers to flexible working were identified:
- It's not seen as a priority
- Others can regard it as not working
- Managing flexible workers takes more time and effort

36% said that, although flexible working was theoretically an option in their organisations, little support was provided for implementing it.

The full survey is available from Ashridge Management COllege.

Is flexible working a reality in your organisation? Let us know.

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16th Mar 2002 10:06

i need a validated questionaire on this topic for my masters dissertation, i would like to investigate how managers in the south african context feel about flexible working hours. i would appreciate any assistance on this topic , especially a questionaire and relevant information. thank you for an informative site.

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