Flexible working times

Two thirds of employees want to start work before 9am

Nine-to-five working is no longer the norm, as two-thirds (66 per cent) of UK employees would rather start and finish earlier, research published in August has revealed.

A survey from YouGov, commissioned by McDonald’s, found only 14 per cent of employees would opt for working hours of 9am to 5pm. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, just 6 per cent currently worked these hours.

Peter Cheese, CIPD chief executive and co-chair of the government’s Flexible Working Task Force, said the findings show employers need to be receptive to employees’ needs and avoid a narrow view of what a working day looks like.

“Flexible working is a growing preference for lots of people and provides opportunities to work for many who have other commitments or constraints that make it hard for them to work traditional working patterns,” he said.

Cheese added that employees with access to flexible working arrangements were more likely to be satisfied with, and committed to, their organisation. But he noted uptake of flexible working is still low and most jobs are not advertised as being open to different working arrangements.

“Employers need to take charge, putting flexible working options in place and improving behaviours and attitudes towards flexible working to create a win-win for individuals and organisations,” he said.

Could it work for you?

If you reassessed your recruitment and working practices to cater for workers’ expectations and became more responsive to market changes, it could mean that you are more likely to attract the talent you need in order for your business to thrive.

By offering more flexible work, you could also tap into more diverse talent pools, whose workers may find it difficult to stick to more traditional arrangements.

The research also found that not everyone wanted to start work early in the day. Young workers were more likely to want a later start (19 per cent of 18-24 year olds) and more than a quarter (27 per cent) of employees in London wanted their work day to begin after 9am.

There is a huge opportunity right now for innovative businesses to look at job design and the way in which they recruit.

If you’re not looking at ways to bring more flexibility into your business, then you’re seriously missing a trick. It can be a difficult shift to manage but get it right and it could work some real magic. Need help with planning your approach? Get in touch today for a free no-obligation consultation.