More than eight in 10 U.K. workers (85 percent) say that if their employer were to introduce more flexible working options, such as working from home or job shares, they would be more likely to stay with them. Nearly all workers (95 percent) say flexible working improves work-life balance, while more than 20 percent see these policies as "essential" when choosing a job. These are the results of a survey of 680 workers and 420 employers in the U.K. conducted by global recruiting firm Hays in June 2010.
The survey also polled employers on a new plan by the U.K. government to introduce legislation requiring them to offer flex work to all employees. More than half of the employers polled (55 percent) are in favor of the legislation, and 70 percent expect an increase in requests for flexible working if the legislation is passed.
Private sector employers (44 percent) are more likely than public sector organizations (33 percent) to anticipate an increase in their costs if workers take up the offer of flexible options. Only 29 percent of respondents say that offering flexible working is integral to the success of their business.
Workers report that the main reason they have used flexible working is to gain more personal time (35 percent) and to cope with care arrangements for children or elderly relatives (29 percent). The latter trend is only set to increase with future demographic changes, according to Hays. More than half of employees polled say that working from home increases their productivity levels, and they report that they have the technology in place to allow them to do so.