It’s National Work Life week and the focus this year is on flexibility with the workforce. Although some businesses strive for flexibility and put forth policies surrounding this area, polls suggest otherwise. Results display an astounding lack of flexibility options, and establish the major need for employers to prioritise a fast action plan...
You've probably come across the terms flexible working, flexibility, flexible hours and so on in recent years.
Despite the theme of flexibility ‘newly’ emerging into the HR lexicon and overall business jargon, it actually isn’t a new subject matter.
As a matter of fact, flexibility is very important to many people, especially those who have recently become working parents.
A poll implemented by Working Families and SF Recruitment reveals that 90% (nine out of ten) of parents looking for work are even more likely to apply for jobs with flexible options and would be likely to apply for a role that listed flexible options in the job advert.
Certainly, the poll reinforces the very need and necessity of flexible job options and intertwining flexibility into the workforce.
Different burgeoning scenario
The Timewise Flexible Jobs Index 2021, stated that only a quarter of job adverts offer flexibility.
Amy Town, Centre Fundraising Manager at Maggie’s Yorkshire and Trustee at Working Families, expressed: “Advertising all vacant roles with flexible options stated by default widens the talent pool for employers and unlocks opportunities for parents.”
She added: “Flexible doesn't just mean 'working from home'.”
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Yes, working from home can be appealing to many people. On the other hand, not every job can be administered remotely or in a hybrid environment.
Results from the poll displayed that employers need to think beyond just home and hybrid working.
46% which is nearly half of these parents work in place-based roles, roles that cannot be done remotely because the work has to take place at a specific location. This shows that employers need to prioritise flexible working as their recruitment enactments and plans and take into account that flexible working doesn’t always mean or is equal to remote working.
Look out, because you can lose talent
Another shocking result that is of importance to HR and businesses - needs immediate action - is tied to high-quality part-time and flexible roles.
Why? Becuase, of the UK parents currently in work, three in ten (30%) are in jobs below their skill level, just because their jobs offer greater flexibility. Showing and reinforcing the need for fast and appropriate strategies for more high-quality part-time and flexible roles in the labour market.
Helen Tupper, Co-Founder and CEO of Amazing If and Board Trustee of Working Families, states: “We need for more high-quality, part-time and flexible roles so parents aren’t forced to compromise there careers.”
Karen Taylor, Retention Lead at the AA, raises a further concern regarding loss of talent by putting forth: “It’s even worse if you’re a parent of a child with a disability, with only three per cent of these parents working full time, mainly due to issues accessing wrap around care, as well as the lack of flexibility of employers for the many appointments their children have.”
These comments and issues raise the fundamental truth that flexibility isn’t a choice.
Flexibility is, in fact, a necessity for many people, particularly working parents. HR and businesses leaders need to take this data into account, and ensure that they're offering inbuilt flexibility, especially when looking to source top talent.