New report shows
Following recent reports which show the UK falling behind in the global drive for flexible working, new research from global recruitment specialist Michael Page has revealed that more than 8 in 10 (84 per cent) office based millennial employees do not work from home in an average working week – with 82 per cent of those saying they are not able or allowed to. The findings come despite three quarters (76 per cent) of UK office workers confirming that their employer does offer flexible working options.
The research – conducted among over 1,000 UK office workers (+18) – questioned the reality of flexible working across the UK today, especially for young professionals or ‘millennial’ workers, aged 18-27.
Such instances are adding to growing sentiment among younger workers that flexible working is less a right – as outlined by the Government in 2014 – and more a ‘selective benefit’ for a choice group of employees. Two thirds (67 per cent) of millennials believe employees with families are more encouraged to work flexibly than their single colleagues, and 6 in 10 (61 per cent) say the same applies to senior co-workers, suggesting that junior team members more often discouraged from flexible working initiatives. Nearly half (43 per cent) say it is a benefit reserved for management and senior leadership only.
By 2020, millennial workers want the following flexible working options:
- Flexi-time (67 per cent) – demand up 21 per cent on today’s usage figures
- Flexi-place/remote working (57 per cent) – up 31 per cent
- Compressed work weeks (54 per cent) – up 49 per cent
- Time in lieu (49 per cent) – up 21 per cent
- Career breaks (41 per cent) – up 38 per cent
- 91 per cent expect to be working flexibly by 2020
Oliver Watson, Executive Board Director for UK and North America at PageGroup, commented:“There is a clear and increasing demand for flexible working options among UK employees, especially from the newest generation of workers. As this ‘Generation FL-X’ continues to enter the workplace, businesses must prioritise accommodating the expectations of all employees, and challenge the old school stigma that still appears to prevail.
“Placing restrictions on flexible working – encouraging or excluding certain employees – is counter-intuitive. Truly flexible working should be open to all, indiscriminate of age, gender, seniority or role.”