Employers are failing to embrace flexible working revolution

Less than one in ten jobs paying over £20,000 are advertised as being open to flexible working, despite the fact that 63% of permanent full time employees now work flexibly.

This "advertising gap" was revealed today (19 September) in Timewise’s new report, A Talent Imperativesupported by EY Flexible Working. The research revealed that 25% of all full time workers would specifically prefer to work part time for part time wages if it did not affect their pay per hour or career progression.

The research also busted open the "mum myth" - the notion that flexible working is primarily the preserve of mothers - with a strong preference for non-traditional working patterns from both male (84%) and female (91%) full time workers.

Karen Mattison, joint chief executive, Timewise, said that the new research sends a powerful message to those in the advertising and marketing world who are facing challenges in the war on talent.

She added: "The data proves, once and for all, that how people in the UK work, has changed. Flexibility is the new form, and people of all ages, both men and women, expect it. Nearly 9 in 10 of full time workers either have some form of flexibility, or they want it. And when it comes to Gen Y – those at the forefront of the marketing and advertising sectors, they are leading the charge."

According to Mattisson, it is now the flexible jobs market that needs to catch-up. "Flexible working policies are no longer enough, agencies and businesses alike need to implement robust flexible working strategies – from how they adapt to hiring flexibly, design roles and working patterns creatively, to establishing a culture fit for the future, and the skilled talent that they need," she explained.

The research suggests the importance of flexible working is only set to grow in importance. More than 73% of those aged 18 to 34 who are working full time do so flexibly. Additionally, 69% of those who do not currently work flexibly would like to do so,

According to Timewise, given the levels of uncertainty about the potential impact of Brexit on the workplace, the new requirements to publish gender pay figures and the rise of automation, getting flexibility right will be an imperative for employers who want to attract and keep the best possible people at a time of skills shortages. 

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