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The Growth of Flexible Working

Published: Wednesday 17th June 2015

How important is flexible working to your candidates in their job search?  

Several reports over the past few years have indicated that many workers would like to have the ability for more flexibility in the workplace, whether this involves job sharing, flexible working hours or the possibility to work from home. 

One example is a report from BakkerElkhuizen, a Dutch company that specialises in the research and development of ergonomic solutions for computer workstations. Their yearly survey asks IT employees in Germany, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands to what degree flexible working is being accepted within their company culture. It also asks about the advantages employees experience from flexible working, such as higher productivity and a better work-life balance. 

This year’s survey indicated a big increase in the number of staff now seeking to spend at least some of their working week away from the traditional office environment. According to the results, 65% of UK companies engaged in some level of flexible working. Those surveyed said that ‘working more efficiently’ and ‘greater autonomy for staff’ were the two main reasons for the rise in flexible working within their organisation.

By comparison, only 20% of UK companies contacted had no plans to introduce any form of flexible working. The most commonly given reason for this decision was that the organisation still considered the physical presence of their employees within the workplace to be necessary to the company’s success. 

At the end of this month, it will have been a year since new UK legislation regarding flexible working came into place. Under the new legislation, all employees can request to work flexibly. Their request then has to be ‘reasonably’ considered by an employer. This was a big change because previously, only employees with caring responsibilities were considered. 

But despite this change in legislation and the fact that many companies now offer some form of flexible working to their employees, few of them are incorporating the possibility of flexible working into their recruitment strategy. A study published earlier this month states that just 6% of job adverts in the UK mention the provision of flexible working despite more than 14 million British workers wanting to work flexibly.  

Only 3% of quality job vacancies advertised in London mentioned flexible working. Those figures rose slightly when traveling up the country, hitting 4% or 5% in the Midlands and the North before peaking at 7% in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Whether your clients are looking to fill jobs that offer flexibility or not, and whether you are recruiting in the South or the North, why not sign up to Zoek? Zoek is a new job searching app that can connect candidates with recruiters at the click of a button. Recruiters can register here to let Zoek help them achieve faster, smarter recruitment.

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