Study highlights flexible working barriers in spite of 10 years' progress

Study highlights flexible working barriers in spite of 10 years’ progress

A study into white collar flexible working released by Ten2Two Sussex, the pioneering flexible working recruitment consultancy, shows progress among businesses embracing the idea. 91% of employers felt attitudes among the business community are more positive towards the concept now than they were ten years ago.

But parents will be disappointed to hear that is not the whole story. Of the 2500 comments collated by the survey, nearly 80% were negative about the attitudes of employers towards flexible working.

Emma Cleary, director of Ten2Two Sussex said: “We see success in the smaller, micro-businesses who see the advantage of having a skilled and experienced professional on their team. The practicalities of working with bigger companies is the ethos of flexible working needs to be drummed home by senior management downwards and often gets stuck with middle management because it’s never been done that way before. Workers are still coming up against age-old restraints of job descriptions and application forms not offering a flexible option, so there’s an enormous amount of work still to be done,” she added.

However, 29% of employers felt there had been significant improvement in attitudes among the business community.

Emily Munford, director of We Are All Connected in Brighton said: “Offering flexible working is beneficial to staff as well as the business as it impacts positively on productivity. I’m absolutely sure it improves staff engagement and motivation. Everyone is offered the opportunity to work flexibly here as we are committed to improving our employees’ work/life balance.”

Of the workers surveyed, 71% agree there has been a shift in attitude towards part-time and flexible working, yet only 11% said they felt there had been a clear, positive change.

Amanda Lane, 57, of Brighton wanted a flexible role after years of working long hours to enable her to pursue interests outside of work. She said: “I love it and I am so grateful for the intelligent part-time jobs I have had. I’m about to begin a temporary role in an HR company. This is a great opportunity for me and I look forward to being challenged and stretched as I gain new knowledge.”

Tiffany Mattson, 45, is a business development director at TicketMedia and has a seven-year-old daughter who is able to do the school run every day around her 25 hour week. She said: “There are times I need to put extra hours in, to work around clients or meet a deadline, and it’s important that the business is flexible too for this to work. I’m very lucky in that respect.”

Follow the debate at #10yrsflexi

Read the full report: