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.
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