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Trend in flexible working continues to accelerate

Published: Tuesday 16th October 2018

In the modern working age, the traditional 9-to-5 is being replaced by the growing phenomenon of flexible working, whether that means taking on part-time jobs, contract workremote working, or even employment in the gig economy.

While flexible working might sound appealing to employees, it has been employers that are seeing the real benefits: by adopting flexible practices, businesses are becoming more agile and adaptable, able to respond better to changes in the business environment, such as an increase or decrease in customer demand.

Woman feeding her child in a dining room whilst working

Flexible working, a win-win for workers and businesses

But, of course, there are benefits for workers too. A study found that the majority of UK employees would prefer flexible work over a pay rise. They want to have more flexibility when it comes to time spent with family, friends, or even their favourite pastimes. But, mostly, it’s a reflection of the continuing trend towards attaining a better work/life balance.

Other reports show that flexible working practices, such as remote working and flexitime can make workers more motivated, and, as a result, more productive. This might be one reason why flexitime has increased by 12.35% from 2012 to 2016, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). At the same time, the TUC found that more than 250,000 more people working remotely now than a decade ago. More than 4.2 million people regularly work from home and this could reach 50% of the workforce by 2020.

Lose commuting hours gain hours in productivity

Traffic jam

Working from home, in particular, is gaining ground because it frees workers from the stress of the daily commute. But there are many tools now, such as Google Docs, that allow colleagues to work together more efficiently and allow managers to track time spent on projects.

Indeed, research has shown that there can be massive increases in productivity from working at home. There are also cost-savings for the company in terms of requiring less infrastructure, office supplies, and power. Additional savings to the recruitment budget due to higher levels of staff retention.

Join the flexible working revolution

Certain sectors seem more suited to flexible work than others. IT jobs, sales jobs, and digital marketing jobs are some of the niches where more workers are enjoying flexible work arrangements. And it’s not just jobs in London, jobs in Manchester or other big centres where you’ll find these types of positions, flexible work arrangements are appearing all over the UK.

What’s clear is that more and more businesses are taking to flexible working because it’s good for business and good for the people that work for them. If you’d like to join them, job seekers can find the best companies with flexible work policies at Zoek UK.

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