Flexible working has increased five-fold in the UK

work from homeAn analysis of working trends carried out by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has found that the number of employees working flexible hours has increased five-fold in the last two decades.

Back in 1999, just 9.5% of workers in the UK worked flexible hours. Recent statistics from the CIPD shows that 54% of us now have the option to work outside of traditional nine-to-five office hours.

While flexible working provides obvious benefits such as missing rush-hour traffic, fitting in personal appointments and getting the kids to and from school, chief executive of APSCo, Ann Swain, talks about how it also helps to promote inclusivity.

“Flexible working plays an important role in bringing equality to the workplace. People with disabilities or caring responsibilities, for example, often are unable to commute to the office or work conventional hours, therefore the option to work part-time, compressed hours or remotely is a necessity.”

She continues:

“As more employers begin to see the opportunities associated with flexible working, we can both boost diversity and inclusion and help end the dire skills shortages which are impacting many sectors.”

 Can flexible working help with the UK’s skills shortage crisis?

The UK has been facing a skills shortage crisis for some time now. A report commission by The Open University found that in 2018, a staggering 91% of organisations struggled to find workers with the right skills.

What’s more, three in five senior business leaders (61%) report that the skills shortage has worsened over the last 12 months. As a result, 51% of roles have been abandoned and left vacant.

Coming at a cost of £6.33 billion a year in recruitment fees, inflated salaries, hiring temp staff and training workers hired at a lower level than intended, it’s important that businesses do everything they can to attract the right people.

Speaking about how offering flexible working to employees can really help in this area, CEO of Guidant Global, Simon Blockley commented:

“Through offering the option to work flexibly, businesses can access a wider, deeper and more diverse pool of talent to drive increased innovation, creativity and profitability. Here at Guidant Global, 82% of our entire workforce have flexible working arrangements in place, allowing mums to fulfil their career goals, dads to spend more time with their children, neurodivergent people and people with physical disabilities the options to work in ways better aligned with their individual needs. We are also working with a number of clients to ensure that this approach to flexible working – and the associated benefits – are replicated across the wider business landscape.”

 If you need help hiring great talent into your business, please get in touch with Choralis Consulting for all your finance recruitment needs and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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