There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the way we work. Organisations had to activate continuity plans to facilitate remote working practically overnight. These arrangements were, in many cases, more productive than anticipated, delivering benefits both to companies and employees and now it seems they are here to stay.
To find out more, we conducted a survey to gather islanders’ thoughts on flexible working, so that we can continue to be in a strong position to offer guidance and support companies and those looking for their ideal job. Here are some of our key findings.
FLEXIBLE WORKING HOURS
75% of respondents said they are currently able to flex their working hours, a clear indication that employers are recognising the importance of implementing flexible working policies to give employees greater control. This figure increased to 83% in the financial services sector specifically. When asked whether they would flex their working hours given the opportunity, an unsurprising 93% said yes and 60% said they would like to flex hours either daily or between two and four days a week.
Are you able to flex your hours?
Would you take up the opportunity to flex your hours (if you could)?
73% of respondents said that they can work remotely. This figure rose to 89% within the financial services specifically. Of those who can work remotely, 68% said that the parameters are either very or moderately flexible. 76% of respondents said they would choose to work remotely should they have the opportunity. 34% said that they would like to work remotely two to three times a week.
Are you able to work remotely?
How flexible are the rules with working remotely?
WHAT THIS TELLS US
These figures are a clear indication of the growing importance of flexible working to employees as a way of improving their work/life balance to spend more quality time with family or on other pursuits and interests. Equally for the employer, a flexible working policy has become a key element in an employment package in order to attract and retain staff.
The results also show how many businesses have embraced this new working model recognising its potential benefits. Through the use of technology, for a majority of employers, remote working is now a wholly viable way of operating. The findings also demonstrate a real desire for individuals to work outside the traditional office setting at least part of the working week. This illustrates the growing trend and preference for a hybrid working model. It’s clear that employers need to develop remote working policies to attract and retain staff and enhance job satisfaction in the workforce.
One of the most telling figures for us is that nearly half of the respondents (49%) stated that they would not choose to work for an organisation that doesn’t offer flexible working arrangements.
Would you choose to work somewhere if they didn’t offer flexible working?
An encouraging 68% of respondents said they were somewhat or very happy at work. Interestingly this figure rose to 74% for those who can flex their working hours and 72% for those who can work remotely. This suggests that flexible and remote working may have some impact on the level of job satisfaction. However only around one third of those who said they are not happy at work do not have flexible/remote working options, indicating that other factors are contributing to their low level of job satisfaction. The ‘happiest’ age group was the 45 to 54 years.
How happy are you at work?
Respondents were asked to rank the importance of 10 elements of an employment package or working conditions when seeking a new job. Perhaps unsurprisingly, salary was rated top; flexible working was the second highest priority again indicating its growing importance in the recruitment and retention of staff.
We also asked respondents if they thought the working week should be reduced to four days. A significant 68% of respondents said yes. This may be an indication of people’s evolving lifestyle preferences and aspirations.
Do you think the working week should go down to four days?
The findings of our survey show that the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for a significant and permanent shift in employees’ attitudes to and preferences for flexible working. Employers who wholly embrace these changes and create attractive working conditions for employees, will be the most successful in recruiting and retaining talent and will have a motivated and loyal workforce leading to higher productivity.
If you are seeking a role that matches your work/life balance aspirations, or if you operate a business and want to become an employer of choice, we would be delighted to help. Please get in touch.